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After Public Law$
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Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, Claudio Michelon, and Neil Walker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669318.001.0001

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Public Law, Private Law, and National Identity

Public Law, Private Law, and National Identity

Chapter:
(p.168) 9 Public Law, Private Law, and National Identity
Source:
After Public Law
Author(s):

Hector MacQueen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669318.003.0009

This chapter reflects on the relationship between private law and national identity, and on the related problem of the continuities and discontinuities between legal and political nationalism. Scotland provides an exceptionally fertile ground to investigate those connections, as the Scottish legal system survives as a relatively autonomous body of law more than three centuries after the disappearance of the Scottish state into the United Kingdom. The chapter traces the way in which the defenders of the distinctiveness of Scots law have conceived of its relationship with political nationalism on the one hand, and national identity in a more cultural register on the other. It concludes by offering a contribution to the debate on the role that even a relatively apolitical brand of law might play in the construction of national identities.

Keywords:   law, national identity, private law theory, Scots law, law and culture

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