The Neo Liberal State, Social Democracy and the Rule of Law.
Raymond PlantProfessor of Law and Philosophy King’s College London University and Vincent WrightProfessor at Sciences Po.General DescriptionThis course will focus on the political, legal and social philosophy of Neo liberalism as wellas the political economy associated with it. We shall be concerned with the general characterof the state as understood by the neo liberals –its scope and its limits. In doing so we shallneed to consider in detail neo liberal views of freedom and liberty; the critique of the idea of social justice; the understanding of the nature and scope of rights within a neo liberal state;neo liberal views about community and civil society; the view taken of interest groups and therole of bureaucracy; and the place that the law plays in respect of all of these things. In thecontext of the political economy of neo liberalism we shall look at the role of property andcontract; the neo liberal understanding of the procedural nature of justice; the idea of crowding out of resources by the public sector and the public choice critique of stateinstitutions and services. We shall then move on to consider the response of social democratsto these aspects of neo liberalism. The neo liberals have made the issue of the nature of therule of law central to their critique of social democracy. We shall see how on their view of the rule of law we can understand the proper relationship between freedom, justice and rights–a relationship which cannot be sustained in a social democratic state. My aim will be toexamine these issues and arguments at stake between neo liberals and social democrats indetail. In the first part of the course I will try to set out the neo liberal case as rigorously as Ican. In the second part I will look at the social democratic critique and assess its power.The pattern of the Lectures will be as follows:Lecture 1 Overview of the course and an account of the general character of the neo liberalstate.Lecture 2 Negative liberty in the neo liberal stateLecture 3 The neo liberal critique of the idea of social justice.Lecture 4 The nature and scope of rights within neo liberalism.Lecture 5 Civil society and community within neo liberalismLecture 6 Bureaucracy and interest groups – the public choice critique.Lecture 7 The political economy of neo liberalismLecture 8 The social democratic critique of negative liberty.Lecture 9 The justification of social justiceLecture10 The case for social and economic rights.