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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 Foundations of the Rule of Law as a Moral Ideal

The Foundations of the Rule of Law as a Moral Ideal

Chapter:
(p.28) Chapter 2 The Foundations of the Rule of Law as a Moral Ideal
Source:
The Neo-liberal State
Author(s):

Raymond Plant (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281756.003.0003

Given that the rule of law as embodied in the basic nomocratic order of the neo‐liberal state is based upon a moral ideal, and given that these rules as constitutional rules can be seen as a constraint on majoritarian democratic decision making, it is important that the moral ideal on which these rules are based should be of a particularly compelling sort. This chapter considers the ways in which different neo‐liberal thinkers have approached this issue. The rather different ideas in play here of Hayek and Buchanan (both Nobel Laureates), Mises, Nozick, and Rothbard are considered in an attempt to see whether there is common ground between neo‐liberals to provide the basis of a nomocratic constitutional order.

Keywords:   Hayek, Buchanan, Mises, Nozick, Rothbard, Contractarian Thought, Natural Law, Universalizability

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