The Authority of the State
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Clarendon Press (1990)
The modern state claims supreme authority over the lives of all its citizens. Drawing together political philosophy, jurisprudence, and public choice theory, this book forces the reader to reconsider some basic assumptions about the authority of the state. Various popular and influential theories - conventionalism, contractarianism, and communitarianism - are assessed by the author and found to fail. Leslie Green argues that only the consent of the governed can justify the state's claims to authority. While he denies that there is a general obligation to obey the law, he nonetheless rejects philosophical anarchism and defends civility - the willingness to tolerate some imperfection in institutions - as a political virtue.
|Keywords||authority, state, law, social contract, communitarianism, consent, political obligation|
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