The four essays by Jeremy Bentham assembled in this volume date from the spring and summer of 1822 and are based exclusively on manuscripts, many of which have never before been published. In the essays 'Economy as Applied to Office', 'Identification of Interests', 'Supreme Operative', and 'Constitutional Code Rationale', Bentham develops the general principles of constitutional law and government which underpin the detailed administrative provisions set out in Constitutional Code . In addition, original and penetrating discussions of such topics as sovereignty, constitutional rule, democratic and monarchical government, public finance, the aptitude and powers of officials, corruption, the influence of public opinion, and the delusive effect of religion and titles of honour, affirm Bentham's status as a political theorist of the first rank. As an important application of utilitarian principles to the structure and organization of government, and a major contribution to the theory of representative democracy, this volume will be of interest to students of philosophy, law, politics, economics, and history.
'We must be grateful to the editor for this contribution to Bentham's constitutional theory as we must also be for his maintenance of the high standards of scholarship we have come to expect from the Collected Works.
'Since Bentham never finally revised the essays and left them in a somewhat primitive state, the editor had to work hard and take many a difficult decision. He has done a splendid job and deserves our grateful thanks.'
Bhikhu Parekh, University of Hull, Political Studies
'We must be grateful to te editor for this contribution to Bentham's constitutional theory as we must also be for his maintenance of the high standards of scholarship we have come to expect from the Collected Works.'
J.F. Lively, University of Warwick, European History Quarterly
Editorial introduction; PART I: Economy as applied to office; PART II: Identification of interests; PART III: Supreme operative; PART IV: Constitutional code rationale