Key Concepts in Governance provides a clear introduction to the technical concepts and policies of contemporary governance through short definitional essays. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a contextualization of the concept, an overview of relevant debates, and a guide to further reading. The book also includes a substantial introductory chapter which gives an overview of governance studies as a whole, orientating and guiding the reader around the issues that the concepts address.
Rule of Law
The rule of law requires that the state be based on a set of laws that apply equally to everyone, including agents of the state. The rule of law is in part a normative concept that distinguishes just rule from despotism. The state should not be based on the arbitrary will of the sovereign, whether the sovereign be a king, president, or parliament. Rather, the sovereign should fall within the law. The agents of the state should be bound by the law just like other citizens. They should not have any [Page 183]more legal privileges than regular citizens. More generally still, the rule of law requires that the law be applied equally to every citizen. The application of the law does ...