1st Edition

The Pluralist Theory of the State Selected Writings of G.D.H. Cole, J.N. Figgis and H.J. Laski

Edited By Paul Q. Hirst Copyright 1993
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    English political pluralism is a challenging school of political thought, neglected in recent years but now enjoying a revival of interest. It is particularly relevant today because it offers a critique of centralized sovereign state power. The leading theorists of the pluralist state were G.D.H. Cole, J.N. Figgis and H.J. Laski, and this volume brings together their most important ideas, making accessible a crucial body of work on radical political theory. It includes their major writings, mostly out of print and difficult to obtain, and here gathered together in an anthology for the first time. Current in the first two decades of this century, English political pluralism offered a convincing critique of state sovereignty and proposed a decentralized and federated form of authority - pluralism - in which the affairs of society would be conducted by self-governing and independent associations. Paul Hirst's comprehensive introduction situates English political pluralism historically and gives a critical account of its main theoretical themes and the debate surrounding them. The book will be of interest to those who see radical reform as vital for the future health of democracy, to students of political theory and the history of political thought and also to students of jurisprudence and legal theory interested in the pluralist debate as it affects the concept of legal sovereignty.

    1.Introduction Notes and suggestions for further reading Texts 2. The Social Theory (1920) - G.D.H. Cole 3. Some Names and their meaning 4.The Principle of Function 5. The State and Inclusive Association 6. Democracy and Power 7. Government and Legislation 8. Coercion and Co-ordination Churches in the Modern State(1913) - J.N. Figgis Lecture II - The Great Leviathan 9. The Foundations of Sovereignty and Other Essays H.J. Laski 10.The Problem of Administrative Areas , The Personality of Associations , The Pluralistic State Studies in Law and Politics H.J. Laski 11. Law and the State Bibliography


    Paul Q. Hirst

    `It is a sign of how vulnerable intellectual life is to fashion, that English pluralism is no longer widely read and studied today. The work of Cole, Laski and Figgis is of the utmost significance, and scarcely known to student and contemporary scholars in democratic theory today. This timely book represents the lost tradition of English pluralism in a manner which not only makes it clearly available, but a decisive challenge to democratic thought. An essential text.' - David Held