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The Neo-liberal State$
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Raymond Plant

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281756.001.0001

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The Nature of the Neo-liberal State and the Rule of Law

The Nature of the Neo-liberal State and the Rule of Law

(p.5) Chapter 1 The Nature of the Neo-liberal State and the Rule of Law
The Neo-liberal State

Raymond Plant (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter does two related things. First of all it sets out the neo‐liberal case for thinking that the state should be conceived largely in terms of rules and procedures instead of delivering certain types of outcomes and goals. To use the terminology of Oakeshott, endorsed by Hayek, the state should be seen as nomocratic and not telocratic. The neo‐liberal state embodies a set of basic rules about mutual non‐coercion as well as contract keeping rather than embodying the pursuit of a specific goal such as social justice, welfare, or a particular understanding of national identity. It looks at the close relationship between these ideas and the neo‐liberal idea of the rule of law. Neo‐liberals are critical of legal positivism and in contrast believe that the rule of law is in fact a moral ideal.

Keywords:   rule of law, state, Nomocratic Order, Teleocratic Order, Legal Positivism

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