Public Law and the Autonomy of the Political: A Material Critique

Forthcoming in M. Wilkinson and M. Dowdle (eds.) Questioning the Foundations of Public Law (Hart Publishing)

LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 17/2017

31 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018

See all articles by Michael A. Wilkinson

Michael A. Wilkinson

London School of Economics - Law Department

Date Written: November 1, 2017

Abstract

Modern public law, according to Martin Loughlin’s Foundations of Public Law, depends upon the autonomy of the political realm. This is explained on the basis of an orthodox secularisation thesis of modernity, the autonomy of the political emerging through its successful separation from the theological. But when viewed in relation to the economic (the material realm), the autonomy of political ordering looks more fragile, subject to the continuing struggle between democracy and capitalism. The concrete features of this struggle are explored by way of a stylised diachronic overview of the transformation of the Western European state and regional state-system in the twentieth century, first with the interwar breakdown of political order, then with postwar reconstruction in the project of European integration. In the recent Euro-crisis phase it again enters a critical period. All of this, however, escapes the lens of a purely political jurisprudence.

Suggested Citation

Wilkinson, Michael A., Public Law and the Autonomy of the Political: A Material Critique (November 1, 2017). Forthcoming in M. Wilkinson and M. Dowdle (eds.) Questioning the Foundations of Public Law (Hart Publishing); LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 17/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3063210 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3063210

Michael A. Wilkinson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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