The Many Forces in Law: Rational, Physical and Psychological Coercion

  • Jorge Emilio NúñezEmail author
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 130)


There is a gap between the Kelsenian and Hartian traditions in legal theory, legal philosophy and jurisprudence. This gap is more evident in central concepts such as sanction and coercion. The paper examines how Kelsen understands different variants of coercion, that is rational, physical and psychological; and why the Hartian tradition misunderstands the Kelsenian approach. The paper has five main sections. The first section presents the reception theory in hermeneutics as a frame of reference. The second section reintroduces the idea that law is generally coercive but occasionally may be not. The third part examines the Kelsenian views on coercion and how Hart misunderstands these views. The fourth section focuses the attention on how Kelsen differentiates variants of coercion. The last section explores familiar examples of coercion culled from international law.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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