The Relevance of Coercion: Some Preliminaries

TitleThe Relevance of Coercion: Some Preliminaries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsStavropoulos, N
JournalRatio Juris

Many philosophers take the view that, while coercion is a prominent and enduring feature of legal practice, its existence does not reflect a deep, constitutive property of law and therefore coercion plays at best a very limited role in the explanation of law's nature. This view has become more or less the orthodoxy in modern jurisprudence. I argue that an interesting and plausible possible role for coercion in the explanation of law is untouched by the arguments in support of the orthodox view. Since my main purpose is to clear the ground for the alternative, I spell out the orthodox view in some detail. I then briefly sketch the alternative. Finally, I turn to Jules Coleman's discussion of the alternative.