Can the Rule of Law Apply at the Border? A Commentary on Paul Gowder's The Rule of Law in the Real World

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In his excellent new book, The Rule of Law in the Real World, Paul Gowder
deftly combines historical examples, formal models, legal analysis, and
philosophical theory to provide a novel and compelling account of the rule of
law.' To my mind, the most important and interesting contribution of the book
is in providing a strong argument for the claim that the core of the rule of law is
not to be found in any particular institutional scheme, but rather in the idea of
social equality within a state. Using the idea of social equality, Gowder is able
to show how the rule of law may be instantiated in a wide variety of institutions,
so long as these institutions allow a significant enough portion of the population
to coordinate and therefore control the use of political power. Importantly, this
account of the rule of law also allows us to see how it can come in degrees and
apply to some people but not others within a given society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages11
JournalSaint Louis University Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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