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Title: Law's author, things personated, political representation
Author: Mor, Shany Moshe
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 4597
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation proposes a normative theory of political representation grounded in popular sovereignty and positive law, rather than in democracy and efficient labour allocation. The first three chapters assess the contributions to the idea of representation of three early modern thinkers. Hobbes proposes a formal model of authorised action at a distance, but, contrary to a long-standing consensus in political thought, not an actual theory of representation. Rousseau, a well-known opponent of representation, proposes ideas about government, sovereignty, and positive law, which, despite his contrary intentions, form a foundation for a normative theory of representation. Sieyes refines concepts from both to create a more mature practical statement on representation which he attempts to implement in three revolutionary constitutions in France in the 1790's. The next three chapters make an argument connecting representation to law creation. First the concept of a decision is defined, and then abstracted through various levels of political authority and action. Law creation is distinguished from all other classes of authorised political decision making by four unique properties which tie in with problems initially raised by the early modern philosophers regarding popular sovereignty. Various numbers of authorised actors are considered as constituting political bodies credentialed to carry out the relevant decisions identified as meeting the minimal conditions of law, and ultimately only assembly — a body numbering in the hundreds, with a reserved place for making recognised decisions, and a formal connection to expressed popular preferences — meets the conceptual requirements of the class of decisions mooted. The thesis ends with an argument connecting law to representation as the solution to the problem of plurality.
Supervisor: Philp, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Democratic government ; Legal philosophy ; Philosophy of law ; Political science ; Intellectual History ; Democracy ; Representative Government ; Representative Democracy ; Hobbes ; Rousseau