Chapter 3: The rule of law: Between ideology and utopia
Open access

In political liberalism there is, generally speaking, a deep distrust of utopian thought. It is conceived as a blueprint for a radical reordering of the existing legal and political order. At the same time, liberal politics appears to be a rather dull affair. Compared with utopia, it seems to have less inspirational and motivational force. This chapter addresses the question of how to conceive of the relation between utopia and the rule of law. Does the rule of law completely rule out utopian thought? According to Van Klink, the rule of law depends for its survival on its ideological as well as its utopian dimension. To prevent that the rule of law is taken too much for granted as a self-evident and fixed idea, it is important to stress its utopian dimension. Conversely, its ideological stabilisation has to secure that the rule of law does not become a flee-floating fantasy.