Classical Social Theory and Ideas of Responsibility and the State in France and Germany

Published in Comparative Law Review (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland), vol. 15, 2013

Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 154/2013

24 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013 Last revised: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Roger Cotterrell

Roger Cotterrell

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: August 26, 2013

Abstract

Social theory can aid comparative legal studies by revealing currents of social ideas in which law develops. A comparison of major contributions to French and German social theory between the mid-nineteenth and the early twentieth century presents striking contrasts in understandings of the nature of legal responsibility and the function of the state. It shows two different movements of thought: one elaborating a view of law mainly as a technology of government overseeing and coordinating individual interests; the other emphasising law's importance in nurturing social solidarity and facilitating collective responsibility.

Keywords: Comte, Von Stein, Tönnies, Weber, Gierke, solidarism, Durkheim, Duguit, individualism, collective responsibility, solidarity, functions of law, modern state

Suggested Citation

Cotterrell, Roger, Classical Social Theory and Ideas of Responsibility and the State in France and Germany (August 26, 2013). Published in Comparative Law Review (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland), vol. 15, 2013, Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 154/2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2315959

Roger Cotterrell (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

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