Duties of Samaritanism and Political Obligation

Legal Theory 14 (3):193–217 (2008)
In this article I criticize a theory of political obligation recently put forward by Christopher Wellman. Wellman's “samaritan theory” grounds both state legitimacy and political obligation in a natural duty to help people in need when this can be done at no unreasonable cost. I argue that this view is not able to account for some important features of the relation between state and citizens that Wellman himself seems to value. My conclusion is that the samaritan theory can only be accepted if we are ready to give up either the traditional notion of political obligation as a prima facie duty valid for every citizen, or the current view of the relationships that should exist between states, citizens and foreigners (the view according to which states should have special concerns for their own citizens).
Keywords Political Obligation  Legitimacy  Samaritanism  Particularity  Global Justice  Partiality  Christopher H. Wellman  Fair-play
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S1352325208080087
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,606
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Samaritanism and Civil Disobedience.Candice Delmas - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (3):295-313.
VII-GoodSamaritans andGoodGovernment.Dudley Knowles - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):161-178.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Citizenship and Obligation.Pavlos Eleftheriadis - forthcoming - In Julie Dickson & Pavlos Eleftheriadis (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law. Oxford University Press.
What is Political About Political Obligation? A Neglected Lesson From Consent Theory.Dorota Mokrosińska - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (1):88-108.
Political Obligations.George Klosko - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
The Inseparability Thesis.Jason Wyckoff - 2010 - Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):51-59.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

88 ( #58,949 of 2,168,592 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #127,317 of 2,168,592 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums