Between the Law-State and the Welfare State: The Structural Limits of Legal-Political Liberalism in the Danish Welfare State
Forthcoming in Malcolm Feeley & Malcolm Langford, The Limits of the LegalComplex: Nordic Lawyers and Political Liberalism (2018)
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 130
41 Pages Posted: 8 May 2018 Last revised: 18 Sep 2018
Date Written: May 2, 2018
What is the relationship between political liberalism and the emergence of the social welfare state and its particular logic of regulation? How have legal professionals contributed to the making of modern day Danish society and law? To answer these questions, the paper conducts a structural sociological analysis of the mobilization of various segments of the legal field for the cause of human rights, constitutionalism and political liberalism since the 19th century. The paper first examines the historical evolution of the constitutional state in Denmark and the role played by the legal professionals in these processes – often in competition with other forms of expertise. The analysis then turns to the rise of the welfare state and the ambiguous role of jurists within it. I then address human rights more specifically, first during the postwar period and then in the critical law movement starting in the 1970s and in the nascent field of human rights. It particularly demonstrates how the post-WII internationalization of human rights provided a new stimulus for legal professionals and their engagement in the fabrication of the contemporary state.
Keywords: The State, historical sociology, legal complex, legal field, sociology of legal profession, human rights
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