Citizenship and Obligation

In Julie Dickson & Pavlos Eleftheriadis (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Many political philosophers believe that we owe moral obligations to our political communities simply because we are asked. We are, for example to pay taxes, or serve in the army whenever we are demanded to do so by the competent authorities or agencies. Can such moral obligations be created by European Union institutions? This essay discusses the natural duty of justice to support just or nearly just political institutions as defended by John Rawls and Jeremy Waldron. It suggests that European Union institutions can be seen to create similar obligations, only if we adopt a cosmopolitan theory of political legitimacy for both domestic and international institutions. A key distinction proposed is that between a duty of jurisdiction, owed by everyone to every legitimate state, and a duty of civility, owed by citizens to their own states.

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Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Oxford University

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