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How (IL)Liberal Is The Liberal Theory Of Law? Some Critical Remarks On Slaughter’s Approach

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Chapter Summary

Moravcsik and Slaughter have pioneered an approach to liberal politics and rule of law that is well-articulated and able to draw upon interdisciplinary insights in developing a research program of considerable interest. This chapter makes three interconnected points. The first is the technocratic bias that underlines much of Slaughter's "liberal" analysis. Despite her anti-formalist bent, it claims that her espoused approach leads to a new form of legalism disguised as "professionalism". The other two points are elaborations on this theme that flesh out implications of this objection for politics and law. The chapter claims that attempts to make "best practices" and "professional standards" uncontroversial by embedding them in some universalist rhetoric reduces problem of practice to one of technique. It takes up the issue of technocratic bias and shows its implications for law and politics. It examines the problem of "universality" and potential of these claims for imperial political projects.

Keywords: Andrew Moravcsik; Anne-Marie Slaughter; liberal politics; liberal theory of law; rule of law; technocratic bias; universality



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