The Role of Law in the Legal Status and Powers of Cities Droit de la Ville. An Introduction
The way the book was made owes much to what it came from: a lecture given for some years in a Master on Urban Studies, whose nearly all attendants are not lawyers.
When I first gave this course, I thought that the only way of permitting that kind of audience a smooth enough access to the corresponding rather technical legal issues was to adopt a concrete approach. This implied to leave aside the usual conceptual divides upon which we are used to build our analyses and which are mainly formal: public law/private law, local government law/substantive administrative law, planning law/neighbouring special fields like the law on public assets or the one on public contracts.
To be honest, this duty to adapt to a particular audience was also an opportunity. I belong to scholars who think that modern law - public law at least - finds itself in a period of profound transformation, due to some contemporary evolutions, such as globalization, the growing pluralistic character of our public apparatuses and the more and more complex distribution of roles between public and private entities. And I believe that, because of these evolutions, many of our concepts have become less capable to grasp the legal reality.