Democracy, Law and Governance: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Democracy, Law and Governance

1st Edition

By Jacques Lenoble, Marc Maesschalck


276 pages

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Democracy, Law and Governance details the transformation of the modes of governance of contemporary developed democracies and aims to define the conditions required for promoting public interest in their public policy. Firstly, the volume illustrates why a sound theoretical approach to the concept of law results in opening up the theory of law to the debate on governance in the social sciences. Secondly, it reconstructs the underpinnings of recent debate on governance, focusing on the pragmatist turn that has marked efforts to overcome the inadequacies of both the economic and the deliberative approaches. In fulfilling this second goal, it examines the advances yielded by the pragmatist turn as well as its limitations, and concludes by proposing a theoretical approach for dealing with them. This illuminating book applies recent research in both theory of law and theory of governance to deepen the analytic impact of the recent pragmatist revival.


'This is one of the most ambitious and valuable works of legal and social theory of recent years and is a major contribution to recent efforts to work out the meaning of philosophical pragmatism for social thought. The authors synthesize a breath-taking range of material, but the argument remains tightly focused throughout.' William H. Simon, Columbia Law School, USA 'This book is simply one of the most subtle and original reflections on democracy and learning to appear in many years. Anyone who thinks that democracies must learn to survive and that enquiry has a democratizing potential should read, and reflect on it.' Charles Sabel, Columbia Law School, USA 'In this important book, Lenoble and Maesschalck make a major contribution to contemporary debates in democratic political theory. Their unique legal-philosophical analysis of the problem of reflexive governance in terms of collective learning in the public interest will appeal to a wide range of academic audiences in the social and political sciences and in socio-legal studies.' Peter Vincent-Jones, University of Leeds, UK 'This is a timely and thought-provoking book which urges both democratic and legal theorists to recognise the implications of new forms of governance and which emphasises the importance of collective-identity formation in the processes of deliberative and reflexive governance.' Julia Black, London School of Economics, UK 'This book is well written and scholarly… a major new step on the road to recapturing governance discourse from the shackles of the economic and the deliberative approaches.' Cambrian Law Review

About the Authors

Jacques Lenoble is Professor of Law, in the Centre for Legal Philosophy, Université Catholique de Louvain, His research interests are in the fields of Legal Theory, Philosophy of Law, Theory of Democracy, and Theory of Governance. He has published widely on these and related fields. Marc Maesschalck is a Professor at the Institut Supérieur de Philosophie of the Institut Supérieur de Philosophie of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium and Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis. He researches in the areas of: Political and Moral Philosophy, Ethics, and Epistemology of Human Sciences. He has published on these and related topics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence