Duguit, Leon

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Duguit, Leon


Born Feb. 4, 1859, in Libourne, Gironde; died Dec. 18, 1928, in Bordeaux. French scholar and legal and political theorist; professor of law at the University of Bordeaux (1886).

At the beginning of his scholarly career Duguit adhered to the organic school, later becoming one of the founders of so-called solidarism, which asserted that the essence, functions, and goals of bourgeois law and the bourgeois state are based on the principle of solidarity of all members of society. Duguit’s concept of solidarism opposed the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of class struggle, but it was also directed against the bourgeois individualistic ideas of the period of industrial capitalism. Duguit advanced the thesis of the “socialization” of the basic institutes of bourgeois law, above all of property. According to Duguit, capitalist private property has a “social function” and serves society as a whole. On the basis of this conception, Duguit worked out a number of legal and practical recommendations that contributed to the development of monopoly capital and state-monopoly trends. Duguit was opposed to the bourgeois state’s noninterference in economic life and, echoing Keynesianism, spoke of the transformation of the bourgeois state into an “organization of public services.” As an important means of implementing the principle of solidarism, Duguit advanced the idea of syndicalism, that is, professional-corporative representation of all strata of society in government. Although Duguit himself was an adherent of bourgeois democracy, many of his tenets, such as corporatism and the denial of legal rights, became an inherent part of the ideology of Italian and German fascism. This largely explains the decline in popularity of Duguit’s theories after World War II (1939-45), although in general Duguit had a certain influence on the development of bourgeois political and legal thought.


Des Fonctions de l’état moderne. Paris, 1894.
L’Etat, le droit objectif et la loi positive. Paris, 1901.
Le Droit social, le droit individuel et la transformation de l’état. Paris, 1908. In Russian translation: Sotsial’noe pravo, individual’noe pravo i preobrazovanie gosudarstva. Moscow, 1909.
Obshchie preobrazovaniia grazhdanskogo prava so vremeni kodeksa Napoleona. Moscow, 1919. (Translated from French.)
Traite de droit constitutionnel, 2nd ed., vols. 1-5. Paris, 1921-25. Third edition, vol. 1: Paris, 1927.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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