Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Most of the legal theory of the last four centuries, in the Western world, has been state-centred. It has justified the existence of states, facilitated their expansion, conceptualized their sources and structures, sought to resolve their conflicts, and developed their law. The state has even been taken, in much of this writing, as the exclusive source of law. There are indications, however, that this theoretical preoccupation with state structures, state institutions, and state laws may now be in decline. This would be a significant development, a historical shift in emphasis in the conceptualization of Western law. It would not, however, mean the end of states or of state law, but rather their contextualization. States and state law would exist in a larger field of normativity. This would entail recognition of a wider range of sources of law and a wider range of relations between laws and between peoples. To attempt to understand these processes, and the extent of their progression, this article examines what we know, or think we know, of the relations between law and the state, before turning to current efforts to develop a transnational concept of law.

Keywords: legal theory, legal scholarship, Western law, state

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.