In Defense of Discretionary Association Theories of Political Legitimacy: Reply to Buchanan

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2):1-6 (2009)
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Abstract

Allen Buchanan has argued that a widely defended view of the nature of the state – the view that the state is a discretionary association for the mutual advantage of its members – must be rejected because it cannot adequately account for moral requirements of humanitarian intervention. This paper argues that Buchanan’s objection is unsuccessful,and moreover, that discretionary association theories can preserve an important distinction that Buchanan’s alternative approach to political legitimacy cannot: the distinction between “internal” legitimacy (a state’s ability to morally justify itself to its own members) and “external” legitimacy (a state’s ability to morally justify itself to humanity more broadly).

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Marcus Arvan
University of Tampa

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
The law of peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Edited by John Rawls.
The Lockean Theory of Rights.A. John Simmons - 2020 - Princeton University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.

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