The Neo-Liberal State

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Overview

The aim of the book is two-fold. First of all it is to provide a fair, complete and analytical account of the Neo-liberal conception of the role and function of the state in modern society. The second aim is to provide a critical assessment of some of the central elements of this conception. The book will look at the emphasis of Neo-liberals on procedural and rule governed approaches to the role of the state rather than outcome or end state views of the role of government and to consider how this conception of politics relates to issues such as the rule of law, freedom, justice, rights, the relationship to the market economy, to civil society and to look at the role of government in relation to the provision of welfare and public sector services more generally. It builds up the Neo-liberal case in respect of these aspects of modern society by drawing upon the works of central Neo-liberal thinkers such as Hayek, Mises, Menger, as well as thinkers such as Oakeshott, Nozick and Rotbard who are not directly Neo-liberals but whose works have been important for the development of central Neo-liberal themes.

The second part of the book provides what might be regarded as an immanent critique of the Neo-liberal case built up in the first part of the study. It takes Neo-liberal ideas very seriously and shows how incoherences arise within and between those ideas such that a plausible form of Neo-liberalism as opposed to Libertarianism on the one hand and Social Democracy on the other is very difficult to state. The theme of this book is very germane given the considerable debate which is now taking place in the context of the world financial crisis about the appropriate role for the state.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199281756
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/20/2009
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Plant is Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy at King's College Law School at the University of London.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

Part I The Basis of The Neo-Liberal State

1 The Nature of the Neo-liberal State and the Rule of Law 5

2 The Foundations of the Rule of Law as a Moral Ideal 28

3 Freedom, Coercion, and the Law 64

4 Social Justice: A Mirage? 84

5 Neo-liberal Rights 96

6 The Welfare State and the Politics of Social Justice 113

7 Social Justice and the Welfare State: Institutional Problems 129

8 Government and Markets 155

9 Government, Money, and Taxation 173

Part II Neo-Liberal Principles: A Critical Perspective

10 Freedom and Coercion: An Alternative Account 195

11 Social Justice and Neo-liberalism: A Critique 213

12 Neo-liberal Rights: A Wider Perspective 230

13 Concluding Reflections 250

Bibliography 271

Index 275

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