Natural rights and political legitimacy

Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):314-329 (2005)
If we have a natural right to liberty, it is hard to see how a state could be legitimate without first obtaining the (genuine) consent of the governed. I consider the threat natural rights pose to state legitimacy. I distinguish minimal from full legitimacy and explore different understandings of the nature of our natural rights. Even though I conclude that natural rights do threaten the full legitimacy of states, I suggest that understanding our natural right to liberty to be grounded in our interests in a certain way might not commit us to requiring consent for minimal legitimacy. Thus, even if natural rights effectively block the full legitimacy of states - on the assumption that rarely, if ever, the requisite consent will be forthcoming - they may allow minimal state legitimacy. Footnotesa I am grateful to my fellow contributors to this volume and to other readers for helpful questions and comments on an earlier version of this essay and in particular to Fred Miller, David Schmidtz, and John Simmons for written comments. Ellen Paul's detailed comments have helped me, as always, to correct many confusions and errors, and Harry Dolan's excellent editing has discovered others that I have endeavored to address.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052505041129
 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: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

85 ( #33,824 of 1,724,771 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,193 of 1,724,771 )

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.