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Abstract

This article reviews legal scholars' key prudential and moral reasons to oppose the view that law can exist without the state. After a discussion of the real-world impact of views on what counts as law, the article discusses the following grounds for resistance to stateless law: law as something necessarily produced by states scores quite high on criteria to determine how good a theory is; paradigms intrinsically resist change; certain forgotten prudential political rules are wrongly remembered as analytical precepts; there is sheer political resistance to the emancipation of powers outside the state; attempts are made by those who shape our understanding of law to please their constituencies; the pursuit by academics of a legal practice interferes with rigorous legal thinking; there are important vested interests in the current state-centred system; and a sense of antiintellectualism dominates certain areas of the legal academy.

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