Finding Leviathan in Hegel: The Private Rule of Law and its Limits

Paul Gowder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses Gerald Postema’s Law’s Rule to take up one of the most controversial questions in rule of law scholarship: whether the ideal can provide the basis for criticizing the state alone, or private individuals and entities exercising power over others as well. An account of the characteristics of states in virtue of which the rule of law licenses control over their power is developed, followed by an examination of some cases in which non-state holders of power over others might take on some of those characteristics. Under such circumstances, there are rule of law reasons to demand state control of private power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLaw and Philosophy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Law


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