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Law's CommunityLegal Theory in Sociological Perspective$
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Roger Cotterrell

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264903.001.0001

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Feasible Regulation for Democracy and Social Justice

Feasible Regulation for Democracy and Social Justice

(p.249) 12 Feasible Regulation for Democracy and Social Justice
Law's Community

Roger Cotterrell

Oxford University Press

Law and state regulation — what can be collectively termed, following Karl Llewellyn, law-government — are being expected to do more and more to bring about major social changes and economic restructuring at a time when those who make use of law in this way proclaim its capacity to do less and less. This chapter explains this ambiguity and, in doing so, derives some conclusions about the limits which contemporary legal ideology sets on efforts to rethink the role of law in society. Very extensive positive and directive use of law to recreate a climate of free enterprise appears largely unquestioned as a matter of legal legitimacy, even if it is viewed as highly controversial politically. The ideology of law's incompatibility with substantial egalitarian policies is not based on specific experiences of regulatory failure alone. It is grounded more fundamentally in what may be termed supporting ideologies of property, liberty, the minimal state, and the Rule of Law. Social justice and democracy are not separate ideals but two aspects of the same aspiration.

Keywords:   law, regulation, law-government, legal ideology, property, liberty, minimal state, Rule of Law, social justice, democracy

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