The concept of the rule of law - Sociology

The concept of the rule of law

The term "legal state", formed and established in the legal literature, is also used in sociology to refer to the "legal form of the organization and activities of public political power and its relationship with individuals as subjects of law."

It is possible to distinguish a number of components necessary for disclosing the essence of the term "legal state". First, it is a legal-normative component, i.e. the actual legal aspect. Secondly - individual legal, concerning the rights and freedoms of the individual. And thirdly, it is an institutional-power component concerning the existence of organizational and legal conditions that exclude the monopolization of power in the hands of one person, body or social stratum and ensure the conformity of the whole system of public power with the requirements of law, the rule of law.

The term legal regulation is used, as a rule, to refer to such a "form of public relations regulation", in which the behavior of participants in legal relations is consistent with the requirements contained in the norms of law. Both in the legal and sociological literature it is emphasized that in the absence of a right legitimized by society, neither the government nor the law itself can serve as guarantors of the implementation of laws. Therefore, the recognition by society of the norms of law is a necessary condition for the implementation of laws within the framework of this society.

The concept of civil society, which is considered to be classical, is a phenomenon engendered by modern times, characterizes the social structure of modern Europe. It is based on the ideas of evolutionism, first of all - the provision on the constant progressive development of culture and society.

As the preconditions for the formation of civil society in Europe, it is customary to name the following socio-economic and political phenomena:

- the creation of centralized states and bureaucracy. Bureaucracy as a mechanism for the unification of social relations involves the replacement of a social system based on the hierarchy of estates and the system of privileges (feudal), a new type of society - egalitarian (characterized by the equality of individuals' rights) and democratic (assuming the consolidation of democratic freedoms);

- the emergence of an industrial society, which was characterized by the restructuring of property relations, as a result of which the ownership right ceased to be associated with the position in the social hierarchy. This socio-economic process was accompanied by the inclusion of formal social rights in the region: combating poverty and social insurance, introducing universal primary education and medical services to the population, expanding communications and raising the level of culture of the population as a whole;

- the formation of national states and the consolidation of national identity (the relationship of civil rights with nationality).

This understanding of the sources of the formation of civil society reveals three of its dimensions - legal (equality before the law), political (electoral law) and socio-economic (for example, the right to health protection), while all rights and obligations are realized by citizens in relation to the state , acting as guarantor of these rights.

However, in modern conditions, this classical concept of civil society (like other derivatives of evolutionism) encounters serious criticism. At the heart of this criticism are the realities generated by intense intercultural contacts, which clearly demonstrate that the original models "do not work" in other, different from Western European conditions.

In particular, the practice of international intervention in the policy of national states in connection with the protection of human rights (the so-called humanitarian intervention) has arisen, calling into question the previously unshakable theory of state sovereignty. Human rights are for the first time placed on a supranational level, and their protection is expressed in the pressure of the international community on national states to change their constitutional norms (examples of countries in Eastern Europe, South Africa, Iraq, the fight against terrorism, the appearance of rogue countries). In the countries of the European Union, there has been a trend towards the removal of certain civil rights (especially social rights, but partly political, in connection with European electoral law) beyond the exclusive competence of national states and their domestic law.1

As a result, it becomes increasingly important to take into account additional parameters when developing new models of civil society. Among these additional parameters are: the ethnic and national composition of society, its class, sex and age division, the problems of self-identification of various social minorities and the realization of their rights, and finally, the politicization of these rights within national states and in the global perspective.

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