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Title: Covenants and swords : coercion in law
Author: Miotto Lopes, Lucas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 6131
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is a study of the coerciveness of legal systems. I defend two main claims: that typical legal systems are much less coercive than most legal and political philosophers think, and that legal systems are not necessarily coercive. My defence is developed in three parts. The first is dedicated to building the necessary theoretical framework to defend the main claims of this thesis. This is where I offer a rigorous formulation of the questions that this thesis addresses and contextualise them within broader debates about the relationship between law and coercion. A substantial portion of the first part of the thesis is devoted to the development of two accounts: an account of coercion and an account of the conditions legal systems must satisfy in order to be coercive. The second part is where I advance two arguments for the claim that typical legal systems are much less coercive than it is usually thought. The first is an argument that establishes that our legal systems rarely issue conditional threats. Given that issuing conditional threats is a necessary condition for any legal system to be coercive - or so I claim in the first part of the thesis - the fact that our legal systems rarely do so undermines the view that our legal systems are pervasively coercive. The second argument is based on the reasons why citizens comply with legal mandates. I analyse the relevant empirical data and show that compliance is not frequently owed to the threat of unwelcome consequences. This should not have been the case had our legal systems been as coercive as philosophers generally think. The third part deals with the claim that legal systems are necessarily coercive. There I address some methodological concerns that this claim gives rise to and propose two arguments for viewing coerciveness as a contingent feature of our legal systems.
Supervisor: Walker, Neil ; Duarte D'Almeida, Luis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: coerciveness ; legal systems ; conditional threats ; legal mandates ; coercion ; nature of law ; legal philosophy ; jurispridence ; threats ; sanctions ; compliance