This paper defends a relational account of personhood. I argue that the structure of personhood consists of dyadic relations between persons who can wrong or be wronged by one another, even if some of them lack moral competence. I draw on recent work on directed duties to outline the structure of moral communities of persons. The upshot is that we can construct an inclusive theory of personhood that can accommodate nonhuman persons based on shared community membership. I argue that, once (...) we unpack the internal relation between directed duties, moral status, and flourishing, relations can ground personhood and include nonhuman animals. (shrink)
How to respond to unauthorized migration and migrants is one of the most difficult questions in relation to migration theory and policy. In this commentary on Gillian Brock’s discussion of “irregular” migration, I do not attempt to give a fully satisfactory account of how to respond to unauthorized migration, but rather, using Brock’s discussion, try to highlight what I see as the most important difficulties in crafting an acceptable account, and raise some problems with the approach that Brock takes. In (...) thinking about unauthorized migration, both while trying to craft positive policies and while critiquing existing practices, we need to ask if we are most interested in a general account of how to respond to unauthorized migration, one that would apply to the large majority of cases and provide us a default approach, or if we are better served by taking a piecemeal approach, looking at why certain people or certain groups should be exempt from removal, even if they would otherwise be liable to it. In this paper, I will focus primarily on this distinction, and argue that it is at least important to provide an account of the "generic unauthorized". (shrink)
Polarization often happens asymmetrically. One political actor radicalizes, and the results reverberate through the political system. This is how the deep divisions in contemporary American politics arose: the Republican Party radicalized. Republican officeholders began to use extreme legislative tactics. Republican voters became animated by contempt for their political rivals and by the defense of their own social superiority. The party as a whole launched a wide-ranging campaign of voter suppression and its members endorsed violence in the face of electoral defeat. (...) This paper is about how such asymmetric polarization affects everyone else’s obligations. My core claim is that two kinds of relationship – civic friendship and non-subordination – underpin critical democratic norms. Republican misbehavior has severed cross-partisan civic friendships. Their authoritarianism forfeits their claim to non-subordination. The former means that non-Republicans need not justify policy on public grounds. The latter undercuts Republicans’ claim to enjoy minority vetoes when out of power and it gives their rivals reason to disobey the laws that Republicans make when they are in power. More generally, when one political actor contravenes the proper norms of democratic politics, their opposition is not bound by those norms. (shrink)
The paper offers a realist account of political obligation. More precisely, it offers an account that belongs to the Williamsian liberal strain of contemporary realist theory (as opposed to a Geussian radical realist strain) and draws on and expands some ideas familiar from Bernard Williams’s oeuvre (thick/thin ethical concepts, political realism/moralism, a minimal normative threshold for distinctively political rule). Accordingly, the paper will claim that the fact of membership in a polity provides people with sufficient reason for complying with those (...) political authority claims whose source is that particular polity. The paper will explain that membership in a polity is constituted not by communitarian identification (Horton), nationhood (Tamir), joined commitment/plural subjectivity (Gilbert), but by the fact that people are stably exposed to political authority claims associated with a particular polity which they find making sense as passing the minimal normative threshold for a distinctively political form of rule (as opposed to the rule of terror or sheer coercion). This political-ethical phenomenon is widely known as political obligation but the paper will argue that the label is in fact a misnomer because it does not refer to a generic obligation. The implications of this account are manifold but two seem especially important: first, the notion of political obligation makes sense even beyond the realm of moralist political theory and, second, realist political theory should pay more attention to the problem of compliance than it used to do. (shrink)
This essay contributes to developing a new approach to political legitimacy by asking what is involved in judging the legitimacy of a regime from a practical point of view. It is focused on one aspect of this question: the role of identity in such judgment. I examine three ways of understanding the significance of identity for political legitimacy: the foundational, associative, and agonistic picture. Neither view, I claim, persuasively captures the dilemmas of judgment in the face of disagreement and uncertainty (...) about who “I” am and who “we” are. I then propose a composite, pragmatic picture. This view casts the question of political legitimacy as an existential predicament: it is fundamentally a question about who you are—both as a person and as a member of collectives. The pragmatic picture integrates rational, prudential, and ethical qualities of good judgment that were heretofore associated with mutually exclusive ways of theorizing legitimacy. It also implies that the question of legitimacy cannot be resolved philosophically. (shrink)
Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...) that reductionism faces a problem: special duties are not strong enough to account for the strength of our associative duties. At the bar of associative duties, we are required to do what no special duty can warrant. I then present an alternative reductionist analysis of associative duties—the ‘Identity-Enactment Account’—which not only accounts for the peculiar strength of our associative duties, but also characterizes them in an intuitively compelling way. On this account, our strongest associative duties are special duties to protect or promote the welfare of the duty’s beneficiary by adopting and enacting a practical identity in which the duty’s beneficiary features prominently. There are persons who can legitimately demand a prominent place in our mental lives, for the protection and intimacy it affords. They can, in effect, legitimately demand to be among our nearest and dearest. The correlative of such a demand is, on our part, an associative duty we have toward them. (shrink)
The debate about justice in immigration seems somehow stagnated given that it seems justice requires both further exclusion and more porous borders. In the face of this, I propose to take a step back and to realize that the general problem of borders—to determine what kind of borders liberal democracies ought to have—gives rise to two particular problems: first, to justify exclusive control over the administration of borders (the problem of legitimacy of borders) and, second, to specify how this control (...) ought to be exercised (the problem of justice of borders). The literature has explored the second but ignored the first. Therefore, I propose a different approach to the ethics of immigration by focusing on concerns of legitimacy in a three-step framework: first, identifying the kind of authority or power that immigration controls exercise; second, redefining borders as international and domestic institutions that issue that kind of power; and finally, considering supranational institutions that redistribute the right to exclude among legitimate borders. (shrink)
Nationalism seems a persistent ideology in academia as much as in politics; despite the fact that it has been shown that nationalism is deeply unjust for minorities. A case for national identity is often invoked to supplement liberalism regarding the inner difficulties that liberal theories have to explain their membership, assure stability and produce endorsement. So, it seems that national identity may also be required for justice. While this controversy continues, I argue that a different approach is available. We can (...) define a conception of legitimacy independently from a conception of justice, and then ask what legitimacy requires from our national allegiances. If everything goes well, much of the controversy from justice disappears as we find that the case for cultural nationalism may be illegitimate for liberal democracies. (shrink)
Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from (...) individuals having passed on certain individual duties? There are complications: states can discharge their duties by contracting fulfilment out to non-members; states seem able to dissolve the duties of non-members; and some of states' duties are not derived in this way. We demonstrate that these complicate, but do not undermine, the general account and its application to states. And the application has an interesting upshot: by asking which individuals robustly participate in this process of duty transfer-and-transformation with a given state, we can begin to get a grip on who counts as a member of that state. (shrink)
People often think that their special relationships with family, friends, comrades and compatriots, can ground moral reasons. Among these reasons, they understand some to be duties – pro tanto requirements that have genuine weight when they conflict with other considerations. In this paper I ask: what is the underlying moral structure of associative duties? I first consider and reject the orthodox Teleological Welfarist account, which first observes that special relationships are fundamental for human well-being, then claims that we cannot have (...) these relationships, if we do not recognise associative duties, before concluding that we should therefore recognise associative duties. I then introduce a nonteleological alternative, grounded in the Appropriate Response approach to ethical theory. (shrink)
Many of the major self-determination movements of the 20th and early 21st Centuries did not go smoothly, but resulted in forced or semi-forced transfers of groups of people from one country to another. Forced population transfers are not, of course, supported by major theorists of self-determination and secession. However, the problems that make population transfers extremely common in actual cases of self-determination and secession, are not squarely faced in many theories of self-determination. And, I shall argue, certain leading theories of (...) self-determination and secession would make population transfers almost inevitable in practice, even if not called for or sanctioned in theory. This is a major stumbling block for any attempt to move from an abstract account of self-determination towards a working theory. In this paper I take a first step towards addressing this problem. I shall show how any approach to dealing with secession, including “primary rights” accounts, “remedial rights only” accounts, and even “consensual” accounts, must be able to deal with the inevitable problem of population transfers, if it is to be a complete and plausible theory. I shall also show how population transfers, to the extent that we can always expect them to take place, can be made as just as possible, in light of any approach to the problem of secession. I will not here attempt to adjudicate between different approaches to secession and self-determination. To that extent, my argument may be seen as a friendly addition to all of the above approaches, showing how they may try to meet an objection which they have not yet faced. (shrink)
I shall argue that in some wars both sides are (as a collective) justified, that is, they can both satisfy valid jus ad bellum requirements. Moreover, in some wars – but not in all – the individual soldiers on the unjustified side (that is, on the side without jus ad bellum) may nevertheless kill soldiers (and also civilians as a side-effect) on the justified side, even if the enemy soldiers always abide by jus in bello constraints. Traditional just war theory (...) and self-proclaimed “revisionist” just war theory think otherwise since the former focuses on the law enforcement or public authority justification for inflicting harm and the latter on the self-defense justification. These are both intrinsically asymmetrical justifications: there is no justified self-defense (properly understood) against justified self-defense, nor is there justified law-enforcement against justified law-enforcement. However, there can, as I will show, be justified self-defense against force that is justified by a necessity justification, and there can be force justified by a necessity justification being used against force that is also justified by a necessity justification. The necessity justification is not intrinsically asymmetrical, and it is an indispensable justification in the context of war. Moreover, with regard to some forms of inflicting harm on others one may give special weight to one’s own interests and the interests of those to whom one has special responsibilities when assessing the proportionality of those acts. That is, the proportionality calculation may be agent-relative. This is in particular so in the case of foreseeably preventing innocent and non-threatening people from being saved (for instance, by shooting down a tactical bomber who would have saved them by destroying an ammunitions factory) but less so in the case of the intentional or foreseeable direct harming of innocent and non-threatening people (dropping bombs on people standing near an ammunitions factory). In the light of these considerations, I will then answer the question as to when soldiers may justifiably participate in war (and when not). (shrink)
According to International Humanitarian Law and many writing on just war theory, combatants who foresee that their actions will harm or kill innocent non-combatants are required to take some steps to reduce these merely foreseen harms. However, because often reducing merely foreseen harms place burdens on combatants – including risk to their lives – this requirement has been criticised for requiring too much of combatants. One reason why this might be the case is that combatants have duties to each other (...) and to their compatriots, such as duties to keep them safe, which are weighty enough to override their duties to foreign non-combatants. In this article, I argue that arguments against the requirement to limit merely foreseen harms which rely on combatants' associative duties fail to establish that it is permissible for combatants to prioritise their own safety over the reduction of merely foreseen harms. Although the argument based on associative duties might work in individual cases, factors peculiar to the situation of combatants mean that such justifications are not normally available to them. (shrink)
Many conservatives endorse a defence of closed borders grounded in basic liberal rights such as the basic right of association. Some conservatives also endorse libertarian principles of legitimacy. It is not clear though that this sort of defence of closed borders is somehow coherent with these libertarian ideals. I argue that conservative libertarians of this kind must reject this defence of closed borders because either it collapses into a form of statism incoherent with libertarian principles of legitimacy, or into an (...) ideal precept without appeal regarding reality in the here and now that could only be applied to changing the very nature of the societies we know. As a result, at least conservative libertarians need to find a different source of justification for closed borders. (shrink)
This essay presents a new way of conceptualizing the problem of political obligation. On the traditional ‘normativist’ framing of the issue, the primary task for theory is to secure the content and justification of political obligations, providing practically applicable moral knowledge. This paper develops an alternative, ‘pragmatist’ framing of the issue, by rehabilitating a frequently misunderstood essay by Hanna Pitkin and by recasting her argument in terms of the ‘pragmatic turn’ in recent philosophy, as articulated by Robert Brandom. From this (...) perspective, the content and justification of political obligations cannot be determined in a way that is in principle separable from their application. This casts ‘political obligation’ not as a problem to be philosophically resolved, but as a political predicament that calls for a kind of practical engagement. The merit of this perspective is to draw our attention toward the conditions under which the problem appears as a lived predicament. (shrink)
We develop and defend a distinction between two types of self-censorship: public and private. First, we suggest that public self-censorship refers to a range of individual reactions to a public censorship regime. Second, private self-censorship is the suppression by an agent of his or her own attitudes where a public censor is either absent or irrelevant. The distinction is derived from a descriptive approach to self-censorship that asks: who is the censor, who is the censee, and how do they interact? (...) We label situations in which censor and censee are different agents as public self-censorship, and situations in which they are the same agents as private self-censorship. We demonstrate the salience of this distinction by analysing the case of publication of Mohammed cartoons by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Our analysis reveals the presence and interaction of a number of different instances of private and public self-censorship. While our article is primarily concerned with establishing this novel descriptive distinction between public and private self-censorship, our analysis has important evaluative implications. We explain for instance how Jyllands-Posten was laudable as a public self-censor but not so as a private self-censor. In general, our analysis reveals that the agents and processes involved in public and private self-censorship are substantively different, as are the agents to whom normative principles regarding censorship should be applied. In particular, principles of free speech do not apply to the case of private self-censorship, because while an instance of censorship, the absence of an external censor makes the censorship non-coercive. (shrink)
this paper advances a novel account of part of what justifies killing in war, grounded in the duties we owe to our loved ones to protect them from the severe harms with which war threatens them. It discusses the foundations of associative duties, then identifies the sorts of relationships, and the specific duties that they ground, which can be relevant to the ethics of war. It explains how those associa- tive duties can justify killing in theory—in particular how they can (...) justify overrid- ing the rights to life of some of those who must be killed to win a war. It then shows how these duties can be operationalised in practice: first, showing how soldiers who fight on behalf of their community can act on reasons that apply to the members of that community; second, showing that the argument from associative duties does not prove too much—in particular, that it does not license the intentional killing of noncombatants in war. (shrink)
Why obey the state? Dorota Mokrosińska presents a fresh analysis of the most influential theories of political obligation and develops a novel approach to this foundational problem of political philosophy, an intriguing combination of the elements of natural duty and associative theories. The theory of political obligation developed in the book extends the scope of the contemporary debate on political obligation by arguing that political obligation can be binding even under the jurisdiction of unjust states. The arguments pursued in the (...) book are illustrated with the results of sociological research concerning the reasons that governed people's attitudes to the authoritarian communist regimes in East Europe viz. communist Poland. This book provides the first detailed argument of how a theory of political obligation can apply to subjects of an unjust state. (shrink)
Aeon Skoble and other libertarians fail to show that libertarianism supports anarchism. The focus on whether persons would rationally consent to the state misses the issue. Instead, the truth of anarchism depends on whether all or most persons actually have consented to the state. Tacit consent to the acquisition of property rights in previously unowned things provides us with a model as to how valid consent might occur. However, whether persons actually have done so is an empirical issue.
This article adopts the framework set out in ‘Associative Political Obligations’ to ask two further questions about the theory of associative political obligation. (i) Which of the different interpretations of the theory of associative political obligation is most plausible? And (ii) what would be the implications of such a view? It is argued that (i) the most attractive version of the argument is one according to which such obligations obtain only in morally acceptable communities, and only between what may be (...) called ‘thick’ members. And (ii) that such a theory should give up on at least some of the conclusions that associativist theorists have tried to defend, such as that associative political obligations can establish the legitimacy of states. However, it is also suggested that this should not be considered a regrettable retreat. (shrink)
This article aims to provide some insight into the nature and content of the theory of associative political obligation. It does this by first locating the view in the wider debate on political obligation, analyzing the view in terms of four central elements that are shared by many of its versions, and then discussing important criticisms that have been made of each of these, as well as some rejoinders by defenders of the theory.
The contention of this article is that parents do have obligations to care for their children, but for reasons that are not typically offered. I argue that this obligation to care for one’s children is unfair to parents but not unjust. I do not provide a detailed account of what our obligations are to our children. Rather, I focus on providing a justification for any obligation to care for them at all.
This paper asks whether we can defend associative duties to our compatriots that are grounded solely in the relationship of liberal co-citizenship. The sort of duties that are especially salient to this relationship are duties of justice, duties to protect and improve the institutions that constitute that relationship, and a duty to favour the interests of compatriots over those of foreigners. Critics have argued that the liberal conception of citizenship is too insubstantial to sustain these duties — indeed, that it (...) gives us little reason to treat compatriots any differently from how we treat foreigners, with all the practical consequences that this would entail. I suggest that on a specific conception of liberal citizenship we can, in fact, defend associative duties, but that these extend only to the duty to protect and improve the institutions that constitute that relationship. Duties of justice and favouritism, I maintain, cannot be particularised to one's compatriots. (shrink)
Many international law scholars have begun to argue that the modern world is experiencing a "decline of citizenship," and that citizenship is no longer an important normative category. On the contrary, this paper argues that citizenship remains an important category and, consequently, one that implicates considerations of justice. I articulate and defend a "civic" notion of citizenship, one based explicitly on political values rather than shared demographic features like nationality, race, or culture. I use this premise to argue that a (...) just citizenship policy requires some form of both the jus soli (citizenship based on location of birth) and the jus sanguinis (citizenship based on "blood" or descent) approaches to citizenship acquisition. In the course of this argument I show why arguments made by Peter Schuck, Rogers Smith, Peter Spiro, Linda Bosniak, and Ayelet Shachar, among others, against this view, are mistaken. This justice-based approach to citizenship also has significant implications for naturalization law and policy. First, I argue that it requires open and easy naturalization and show why the use of naturalization policy to foster national identification is wrong. Second, I demonstrate that if naturalization is easy and open, some rules limiting certain social benefits and privileges to citizens may be compatible with justice, thereby providing a foundation for future discussions of alienage law. (shrink)
Associative duties are non-contractual duties owed in virtue of a valuable relationship. They hold between lovers, family members, friends, and perhaps compatriots. General duties, by contrast, are owed to people simply in virtue of their humanity: they are grounded in each person’s great and equal moral worth. In this paper, I ask what should be done when we can perform either an associative duty or a general duty, but not both.
Krzysztof Trzciński, Źródła legitymacji tradycyjnego władztwa we współczesnej Afryce jako przyczynek do lepszego zrozumienia jego roli i fenomenu trwania, "Afryka" 2009, t. 29-30, s. 47-70. Legitymacja należy do kluczowych zagadnień myśli politycznej i jest nierozerwalnie powiązana między innymi z takimi terminami jak państwo, władza, obywatele, poddani, prawa i obowiązki. Pojęcie legitymacji jest niezwykle ważne i być może właśnie z tego powodu jego istota stanowi temat wielu dyskusji. W tym artykule nie będziemy jednak analizować sporów definicyjnych. Ograniczymy się do podejścia, jakie (...) proponuje Roger Scruton, unikając przedstawienia ścisłej definicji. Termin ‘legitymacja’ określa, jego zdaniem, to samo, co pojęcia ‘prawomocność władzy’ bądź ‘prawowite panowanie’. Gdy rządzący dzierżą władzę nie posiadając do tego uprawnienia, wówczas mówimy, że władza jest przez nich wykonywana bez legitymacji. Legitymacja dotyczy relacji między obywatelami (poddanymi) a władzą państwową lub – jak ma to miejsce na przykład w Afryce Subsaharyjskiej – lokalnym władztwem tradycyjnym. Pojęcie legitymacji odnosi się przede wszystkim do tak podstawowych zagadnień jak podporządkowanie się obywateli (poddanych) decyzji władz oraz prawo władzy państwowej (lub tradycyjnej) do ograniczania wolności obywateli (poddanych). Legitymacja była istotnym problemem politycznym na przestrzeni ludzkich dziejów i we wszystkich obszarach świata. Również i dziś stanowi aktualną kwestię. Władza we współczesnych państwach demokratycznych czerpie legitymację z woli elektoratu wyrażonej w wyborach. Nawet w takim wydawałoby się idealnym stanie rzeczy legitymacja niejednokrotnie stanowi przedmiot dyskusji. Seymour Martin Lipset pisze w tym kontekście o ‘szacunkowości’, czy też względności legitymacji i uważa, że ludzie w państwie uznają istniejący w nim system polityczny jako posiadający legitymację lub nie w zależności od tego, czy wartości systemu odpowiadają wartościom przez nich wyznawanym. I tak na przykład, gdy prezydentem demokratycznego państwa zostanie popierany przez nas kandydat, automatycznie uznajemy jego władzę za legitymowaną. Jeśli jednak wybory prezydenckie wygra osoba, której nie darzymy poparciem czy zaufaniem, wówczas zdarza się nam podważać jej legitymację, zwłaszcza gdy została wybrana na urząd w sytuacji niskiej frekwencji wyborczej. W państwach pokolonialnej Afryki problem legitymacji jest daleko bardziej skomplikowany niż w świecie zachodnim. Podczas gdy Max Weber wyróżnił trzy czyste typy prawomocnego panowania (legalne, tradycyjne i charyzmatyczne) w państwie, David Beetham uznał, że typologia ta jest nieadekwatna ze względu na różnorodność rodzajów władzy, które istniały w XX wieku. Pogląd Beethama odpowiada po części sytuacji w Afryce, gdzie w przypadku wielu pokolonialnych państw przetrwały różne lokalne systemy władzy przedkolonialnej (królestwa, sułtanaty, wodzostwa) o legitymacji tradycyjnej, przy jednoczesnym istnieniu na poziomie ogólnopaństwowym panowania legalnego lub quasi-legalnego, mniej lub bardziej zgodnego z państwowym porządkiem prawnym. (shrink)
This chapter contains section titled: I Legitimacy and Consent II Obligations of True Community III Integrity and Obedience IV Individuality and Community V The Universality of Obligation Acknowledgement.