Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://buratest.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/11121
Title: Hegel’s concept of the estates
Authors: Boyd, Nathaniel
Advisors: Thomas P
Keywords: Natural law;Feudalism;Constitutional development;Germany;Holy Roman Empire;Institutionalism;Politics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The development of political modernity in Europe entailed a process whereby formerly important political forms increasingly lost significance and were transformed in a long process that led to the separation of individuals from political power, in the distinctive shape of modern (depoliticised) civil society and the state. The thought of G.W.F Hegel (1770–1831), which has fundamentally shaped the modern understanding of these developments, came to its maturity at the most advanced stage of this process, while the French Revolution was transforming the continental world. He thought through this process from a very early stage in his development (1800–4), and thereby formed the essentials of his political theory. But on the cusp of this modernity Hegel seemed to affirm what has appeared to many as the old powers that had disappeared in the formation of the modern state – the Stände. For many he thereby turned his political thought into an apparent anachronism. This dissertation, however, will argue that Hegel’s thought remains fundamentally modern and not at all anachronistic in its affirmation of the Stände. On the contrary, it is only through an examination of the concept of the Stände in Hegel’s thought, that one can fully understand the essentially institutional focus of his politics. This dissertation will argue for the significance of the concept of the Stände through historically situating Hegel’s thought and its engagement with the modern tradition. It will do so through a methodological examination of the concept in Hegel’s early period (1800–4) where the institutional character of his politics is first shaped and formed, in the perspective of insights from his mature political philosophy (1820/21). In so doing it will show how the concept of the Stände and the institutionalism it implies form Hegel’s unique response to the development of modern civil society.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/11121
Appears in Collections:Politics and International Relations
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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