The Anarchist before the Law

Newman, Saul and La Torre, Massimo. 2024. The Anarchist before the Law. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781399513180 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

When might an anarchist need a good lawyer? Why do radical activists committed to revolutionary change often have to work within the limits of the law? Can a judge also be an anarchist?

This book is an exploration of a paradoxical, yet necessary, encounter between anarchism and the law. Anarchism offers the most radical critique of the principle of legal authority and, as such, poses essential questions that legal philosophy must respond to regarding political obligation and the legitimacy of coercion. At a time when the law is in a state of crisis, it becomes crucial to interrogate its founding principles and ethical limits.

Through an exploration of the anarchist tradition, and engaging with contemporary continental and analytical approaches to questions of jurisprudence, state sovereignty, violence, civil disobedience and human rights, this book develops an original anarchist theory of legal institutionalism and a concept of law without authority and coercion.

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February 2024

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Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2024 09:55

Last Modified:

22 Feb 2024 15:33


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