The liberal order: holed below the waterline or a ship that we can rebuild at sea?

Corkin, Joseph (2019) The liberal order: holed below the waterline or a ship that we can rebuild at sea? In: On Brexit: Law, Justices and Injustices. Ahmed, Tawhida and Fahey, Elaine, eds. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 253-271. ISBN 9781789903003, e-ISBN 9781789903010. [Book Section] (doi:10.4337/9781789903010.00027)


This chapter reads illiberal nationalist backlashes against the liberal order as a reaction to Modernity and its inbuilt bias towards a cosmopolitan universalism that subjects the local and the particular to rational critique and so threatens particularistic identities established in concrete communities. A (world) society, organised through the logics of legality and economics, builds an empire of law and reason that restricts politics, de-emphasises time and place, leaving many powerless and open to the predations of populists who promise to give them back control. On a charitable reconstruction, the liberal order, especially in multi-level configurations like the EU, might successfully organise the interactions of law, politics and expertise in an increasingly factually interdependent world, but only if they respect our historically-contingent choice to pursue democratic self-determination primarily through national political communities. This necessitates ongoing national legal independence, even as they manage its external effects and enable cooperation with others to achieve what it cannot alone.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 28398
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Joseph Corkin
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 11:43
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 00:38

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