Recent scholarship on Durkheim draws attention to debates implicating his ideas about law, mainly in , but also in . is the better known work, and established readings—otherwise diverse—find in it a thesis about law as the expression of the collective conscience and functioning to maintain community norms. Durkheim's attention to the state in is often read as a continuation of that thesis on law, as if the state were the culmination of collective consciousness. This article reads these works differently, highlighting the discontinuity of states and collective consciousness as the opening for Durkheim's concerns with the moral legitimacy of public authority as well as his efforts to find a subject (literally and figuratively) for the emergent discipline of sociology. The article suggests that current events offer fresh terrain for sociolegal scholars to pursue the implications of Durkheim's insights on law and states, read otherwise.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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