David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Law and Philosophy 29 (6):669-694 (2010)
The two leading traditions of theorizing about democratic legitimacy are liberalism and deliberative democracy. Liberals typically claim that legitimacy consists in the consent of the governed, while deliberative democrats typically claim that legitimacy consists in the soundness of political procedures. Despite this difference, both traditions see the need for legitimacy as arising from the coercive enforcement of law and regard legitimacy as necessary for law to have normative authority. While I endorse the broad aims of these two traditions, I believe they both misunderstand the nature of legitimacy. In this essay I argue that the legitimacy of a law is neither necessary nor sufficient for its normative authority, and I argue further that the need for legitimacy in law arises regardless of whether the law is coercively enforced. I thus articulate a new understanding of the legitimacy and authority of law
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References found in this work BETA
Marcia Baron (1987). Kantian Ethics and Supererogation. Journal of Philosophy 84 (5):237-262.
Brian M. Barry (1995). Justice as Impartiality. Oxford University Press.
G. A. Cohen (1997). Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice. Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (1):3–30.
John Finnis (1980/1979). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford University Press.
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