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The Script of Alliance: Locke on the Federative

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The paper addresses Locke's analysis of the federative power, presented as a distinct constitutional category separate from both the ordinary and special or prerogative powers of the executive in that it relates to the 'external' capacities of the state. The operation of the federative is marked by the interplay of prudence and law. Locke acknowledges the prudential element, but seems on one reading to downplay the juridical dimension. That reading does not fit well with Locke's designation of making treaties or compacts (foedera) as the power's central feature, nor with his account of natural law as a moral condition that includes the capacity to incur binding obligations. The federative should be seen rather as the part of the constitution through which the state's external agency is exercised and the location of the state's duties in respect of the law-generating activities in the international sphere. Its institutional specification should be framed accordingly.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Law Department, London School of Economics & Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2021

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