Normative Powers (revised)

17 Pages Posted: 26 May 2019 Last revised: 28 Oct 2019

See all articles by Joseph Raz

Joseph Raz

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Columbia University - Law School; King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2019


The paper provides an analysis of normative powers as the ability to change a normative condition, and distinguishes and analyse several kinds of such powers. The revision affects mainly the analysis of such types. The main theses of the paper concern the distinction between basic from chained powers and the account of the relations between the normative powers and the values which explain and justify their existence. It ends by showing the connection between the thesis that values depend on human nature and culture and the dependence of normative powers on justifying reasons.

Keywords: power as ability, normative power, normative change, power and its value

Suggested Citation

Raz, Joseph, Normative Powers (revised) (July 1, 2019). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 36/2019, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-629, King's College London Law School Research Paper 26-2019, Available at SSRN: or

Joseph Raz (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 3UJ
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Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
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King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

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London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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