Political Covenantalism, sovereignty and the obligatory nature of law: Ulrich Huber’s Discourse on state authority and democratic universalism


  • A. W. G. Raath University of the Free State, South Africa


Ulrich Huber’s De Jure Civitatis, published in Latin, has never been translated into any other language, making this a relatively unknown source in constitutional law. In this work Huber responds to the state absolutism of Machiavelli and Hobbes. Although Huber objects strongly to Hobbes’s enlightened absolutism, his own theory of the double social contract scheme harbours distinct elements of political universalism.The possibilities for political resistance by subjects in the state are very limited. Although Huber’s theory of constitutionalism prepared the way for the enlightened individualism in the theories of Locke and Rousseau, his constitutional law theory shows a clear preponderance towards political absolutism.


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