On Estlund's democratic authority

For a state to be legitimate is for it to be permissible for the state to issue and enforce its commands (mostly laws), and for this to be permissible “owing to the process by which they were produced” (2).1 For a state to have authority is for it to have the power to morally require or forbid actions through commands, or the power to create duties (2).2 It seems that a state’s being democratic—in somewhat like the way in which the democracies we are familiar with are democratic—has something to do with its having both authority and legitimacy. But what, exactly? There is, after all, nothing obvious about the relation between democracy on the one hand and legitimacy and authority on the other. One may think that consent has something to do with it. But this would be wrong, because most of those supposedly under the authority of the state haven’t consented to anything of relevance (9). Implicit consent, if it is too implicit, so that the agent may not realize she is consenting, is no substitute for real consent, and if it is more explicit than that then, again, hardly anyone has consented to the state’s authority, not even in democracies (9). And most hypothetical consent theories fall prey to their own difficulties. So consent theory of the typical kind cannot ground political legitimacy and authority. (A very atypical kind of consent will nevertheless eventually emerge victorious.).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    99 ( #9,099 of 1,088,400 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,400 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.