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This volume originates from a collective project to develop an alternative theoretical approach to the market monopoly theory that dominates studies of the legal professions. In contrast to theories that connect the rise of professionalism to the development of economic liberalism, this book advances a political theory of lawyers' collective action. The introductory chapter, written by the editors, presents a systematic, historical and comparative theoretical framework that integrates the following parts of the work.
The book develops the thesis that the growth of lawyers' collective organization was integrally connected to the development of Western liberal ideals and institutions. It focuses on three areas where lawyers' engagement has shaped the core of liberal politics: the constitution of the liberal state; the constitution of civil society; and the constitution of citizenship through the grant of individual rights.;This collection aims to contribute to an understanding of the political importance of lawyers, and is part of the "Socio-Legal Studies Series".