Theorising Across Disciplines
Elgar Studies in Legal Theory
Edited by Roger Cotterrell and Maksymilian Del Mar
Chapter 8: Imaginaries of authority: towards an archaeology of disagreement
This chapter offers a means of thinking historically about authority – namely, to examine the history of its images. By ‘images’ here are meant stocks of concrete, leading examples used by theorists when theorising some concept. In the case of authority, this has often included certain hierarchical relations, such as those between father and son, doctor and patient, teacher and student, and officer and soldier. This means of historicising authority is conceived of as part of a broader attempt to focus on the ‘archaeology of disagreement’, i.e. the idea that understanding any concept – including authority – will benefit from exploring how theorists have disagreed about it over time – beginning with disagreements in particular contexts of debate, and then comparing reasons for disagreement across contexts. Comparing different kinds of disagreements may also bring to light unnoticed assumptions made in particular contexts of debate by showing their absence in other contexts. The chapter suggests that the most intractable kinds of disagreements may be disagreements at the level of images. This is considered in the context of a relatively recent debate – namely, that between Martin Loughlin and Neil MacCormick as to the viability of the concept of ‘constitutional pluralism’.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.