A Republic of Law

by Frank lovett

The rule of law is a valuable human achievement. It is valuable not only instrumentally, but also for its own sake as a significant aspect of social justice. Only in a society that enjoys the rule of law is it possible for people to regard one another as fellow free citizens; no one the master of anyone else. Nevertheless, the rule of law is poorly understood. In this book, Frank Lovett develops a rigorous conception of the rule of law that is grounded in legal positivism, and offers a civic republican argument for its value in terms of freedom from domination. Bridging persistent methodological gaps that divide legal philosophy, social science, and political theory, Lovett demonstrates how insights from all three can be united in a single powerful theory. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the rule of law, including scholars, legal officials, and policy-makers.

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A General Theory of Domination and Justice

by Frank Lovett

In all societies, past and present, many persons and groups have been subject to domination. Properly understood, domination is a great evil, the suffering of which ought to be minimized so far as possible. Surprisingly, however, political and social theorists have failed to provide a detailed analysis of the concept of domination in general. This study aims to redress this lacuna. It argues first, that domination should be understood as a condition experienced by persons or groups to the extent that they are dependent on a social relationship in which some other person or group wields arbitrary power over them. It argues second, that we should regard it as wrong to perpetrate or permit unnecessary domination and, thus, that as a matter of justice the political and social institutions and practices of any society should be organized so as to minimize avoidable domination. This conception of social justice connects with more familiar civic republican accounts of freedom as non-domination. In developing these arguments, the study employs a variety of methodological techniques – including conceptual analysis, formal modeling, social theory, and moral philosophy; existing accounts of dependency, power, social convention, and so on are clarified, expanded, or revised along the way. While of special interest to contemporary civic republicans, this study should appeal to a broad audience with diverse methodological and substantive interests.

Rawls's 'A Theory of Justice': A Reader's Guide

by Frank Lovett

John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice, first published in 1971, is arguably the most important work of moral and political philosophy of the twentieth century. A staple on undergraduate courses in political theory, it is a classic text in which Rawls makes an astonishing contribution to political and moral thought

Rawls’s ‘A Theory of Justice’: A Reader’s Guide offers a concise and accessible introduction to this hugely important and challenging work. Written specifically to meet the needs of students coming to Rawls for the first time, the book offers guidance on philosophical and historical context, key themes, reading the text, reception and influence, and further reading.
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