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Authority after emergency rule

White, Jonathan (2015) Authority after emergency rule. Modern Law Review, 78 (4). pp. 585-610. ISSN 0026-7961

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-2230.12130


In the context of economic crisis, Europe has witnessed a spate of extraordinary political measures pressed by executive discretion. This article examines what emergency rule of this kind implies for the possibility of normal rule thereafter. Political decision-makers face the challenge of drawing a line under the crisis so that the unconventional measures used to handle it do not compromise the polity's norms in lasting fashion. Based on an analysis of the preconditions for plausibly making such an act of separation, I suggest the principal resources for doing so in the EU case are missing. Emergency rule will tend to blend in with normal rule, to the detriment of the political order's legitimate authority. A more dubiously grounded ‘descriptive’ authority may conversely be enhanced by emergency rule, as may compliance for instrumental motivations, producing a polity that is stable even if weakly legitimate.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: ©2015 The Author. The Modern Law Review.
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 16:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:17
Projects: EURIAS
Funders: Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study

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