The nation the state has its origin in a social contract that transforms an aggregate of isolated individuals into a unified body politic possessed of a single general will. But how can this public person of the state be said to have a single will? Some argued that in criticizing theories founded on abstract principles, he had himself used the abstractions of solidarity, service, and government . During the nineteenth century, the growth in technical knowledge about the functions of government brought about a shift in its sources of legitimacy. Far from being a condition that necessitates the formation of society, war is the product of its formation. Pour citer cet article: Questioning the assumption that equality and liberty were complementary principles and therefore that droit politique involved a simple reconciliation , he predicted that the emergence of an equality of conditions, far from providing the foundation for liberty, might actually threaten its realization .
Instead of metaphysical doctrines, which led to the Terror and an unworkable form of government, modern political leaders must be guided by scientific principles. Neo-Jacobinism has not gone unchallenged. But the Revolution soon veered out of control. Sa nature , op. The essence of the political, he suggests, cannot be derived merely from the desire to have order:
Political authority is acquired, he suggested, not through abstract reasoning founded on metaphysical beliefs but according to the material benefits government confers.
Although its ripples were felt across Europe, its epicentre lay in France. Political philosophers of his times commonly built their theories of order from first principles derived from an original social contract.
To address them, governmental action on an unprecedented scale was needed. In these respects, the Jacobins were hardly faithful followers of Rousseau. The essence of the political, he suggests, cannot be derived merely from the desire to have order: For Lefort, political power is a type of symbolic power which maintains the durgecne of this distinctive worldview.
In so doing, the disorder kétat uncertainties of the Revolution would be resolved.
Public law scholarship continued to be based on the concept of the state but, in accordance with positivist orthodoxy, the state was conceived to be a legal person and its authority simply a political fact. Secondly, egalitarianism in the name of a mystical demos had resulted in legislative will being equated pa the general will, creating an léfat centralization of power. Bodin and Montesquieu tried to identify the principles of political right, but they had both sought to distill them from historical experience.
These constitutionnalisxtion revolutionary themes were the source of problems with which France was still living. The abstractions of metaphysics, Comte was suggesting, must be replaced by the science of social physics, when the government of men could be replaced by the administration of things. Laws were replaced by a cult and an abstract concept of natural right provided the cloak for violent repression.
Command will be replaced by co-ordination. His Dissetation de politiquefounding the political on the concepts of state and sovereignty, provides an authoritative statement of droit politique for the modern world.
Challenging the authority of traditional ordering, Enlightenment scholars had to devise new legitimating principles for modern societies.
Far from being a vital part of the nation, they had become in effect its enemies. This expresses the hegemony of the directing idea over the organized power. But this does not diminish the domain of the political; rather, the autonomy of the political and the autonomy of the social form a collective self-division that is a distinctive feature of modernity. Liberty in the modern world of the political had to recognize the distinctions between public and private, political and social, participation and independence.
Authority is generated through the supply of collective goods — defence, law and order, and physical and social infrastructure — that enhance the security, wellbeing and happiness of subjects.
They had failed in particular to appreciate the importance of maintaining a clear distinction between sovereignty and government, which Rousseau had adopted from Bodin. It confers no rights: Sovereignty is constitutive, while the issue of who actually exercises the sovereign durgeence of rule disserattion merely regulative.
Their aim was to specify the fundamental laws of the political domain. For the same reason, his science of public law, erected on empirical foundations, also rejects the concepts of state and sovereignty.
The challenge of discovering constiutionnalisation principes du droit politique is to understand how law can be transformed from an instrument that bolsters the hierarchical relationship of sovereign and subject into a medium by which liberty and equality can be realized.
The meeting of the third estate, comprising the legitimate representatives of the sovereign people, must be transformed into the national assembly. Pour citer cet article: The civil order established by cknstitutionnalisation pact is dictated by the sovereign people as an expression of the general will, not by a vanguard who consults their own hearts and minds to reveal the dictates of natural right .
This darker side of modernity became a more prominent theme in the radical thought of the postwar period, best illustrated in the work of Michel Foucault. They recognized that continuing material progress would lead to the growth légat administrative power, but did not see that this expansion of bureaucracy might lead to a loss of individual autonomy and creativity.
Such power maintains the principle of unity in government: This is not to limit the power of government, as classical liberals demand.