Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Althusius, Johannes

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_409-1

Johannes Althusius (1557–1638) is a German Calvinist jurist and political scientist. He produces a systematization of the law that anticipates the future codification of the civil law and develops a political theory preaching the division of sovereign rights to all the members of the republic, a position opposed to the sovereign absolutism which then began to predominate in Europe. Because of the political responsibilities entrusted to him, he acquires a concrete experience of power games working political institutions, and intends to mitigate their main dangers by subordinating sovereign power to the fundamental laws of the kingdom and by integrating the right of resistance to the monarch. He thus advances three of the founding ideas of modern democratic society: the necessary sharing of political responsibilities, the notion of Constitution, and the conditionality of the exercise of power.

Law Exposed According to the Ramist Method

By his philological concern, his recourse to ancient...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IHRIMLyonFrance

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gianfrancesco Zanetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LawUniversità degli Studi di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly