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Searching for the State in British Legal Thought
Competing Conceptions of the Public Sphere

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law

  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139786560

$ 33.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Janet McLean explores how the common law has personified the state and how those personifications affect and reflect the state's relationship to bureaucracy, sovereignty and civil society, the development of public law norms, the expansion and contraction of the public sphere with nationalization and privatization, state responsibility and human rights. Treating legal thought as a variety of political thought, she discusses writers such as Austin, Maitland, Dicey, Laski, Robson, Hart, Griffith, Mitchell and Hayek in the context of both legal doctrine and broader intellectual movements.

    • Sets jurisprudential debates in a wider social, political and historical context, thereby providing more than just an analytical account of the subject
    • Provides modern public lawyers with both an historical and a political perspective
    • Treats legal thought as a variety of political thought, thus offering modern scholars of political thought a legal perspective which is frequently missing
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2013 J. F. Northey Memorial Book Award from the New Zealand Law Foundation

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139786560
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Searching for the state in the idea of the crown
    2. From the state as official to the state as machine: the nineteenth-century development of bureaucracy
    3. The state as sovereign and the state as corporation: Austin and Hart in political context
    4. Civil society: the English fellowships and the state
    5. The private life of the state: the crown and the public sphere
    6. A public law without a state: the political commitments of the new administrative law
    7. No rights against the state: government wrongdoing and the law
    8. Privatisation, deregulation and reconceiving the state
    9. (Human) rights against the state
    10. Prospectus.

  • Author

    Janet McLean, University of Dundee
    Janet McLean is Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, and a public and administrative lawyer.


    • Winner of the 2013 J. F. Northey Memorial Book Award from the New Zealand Law Foundation

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