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Constitutional thought of Joseph de Maistre.

Upton, John Dominic (2009) Constitutional thought of Joseph de Maistre. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis, the first in English on this topic, is an examination of central aspects of Joseph de Maistre's constitutional thought: namely the concepts of constituent power, constitutions, sovereignty and forms of government. Research for the thesis has been conducted with the use of archival sources and French texts and it describes and analyses the above concepts in some detail. The thesis also takes into account both historical and modern scholarship written in French and English. It argues that Maistre's constitutional thought is a useful tool with which to investigate some contemporary constitutional problems in liberal constitutional theory, e.g. those of constitutional self - binding, the circularity of the notion of the sovereignty of the people and the nature of sovereignty in the modern state. Maistre's thought provides a view of constitutional matters which opposes certain enlightenment - inspired perspectives that now dominate constitutional discourse and which treat the constitution as a purely normative phenomenon, rather than as a relational concept which cannot be separated entirely from political considerations. The thesis carries out these tasks with reference to other constitutional and public law thinkers in order historically and intellectually to contextualise Maistre's constitutional thought. It seeks to place Maistre within an intellectual tradition stretching from Bodin, Hobbes and Pufendorf, through Rousseau and Montesquieu, to Carl Schmitt and Michael Oakeshott. In doing this, the thesis argues that Maistre is a modern thinker, whose work although cast in the language of reaction, actually belongs to a mainstream constitutional tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Law
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2732

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