The Authority of the State

Clarendon Press (1988)
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Abstract

The modern state claims supreme authority over the lives of all its citizens. Drawing together political philosophy, jurisprudence, and public choice theory, this book forces the reader to reconsider some basic assumptions about the authority of the state. Various popular and influential theories - conventionalism, contractarianism, and communitarianism - are assessed by the author and found to fail. Leslie Green argues that only the consent of the governed can justify the state's claims to authority. While he denies that there is a general obligation to obey the law, he nonetheless rejects philosophical anarchism and defends civility - the willingness to tolerate some imperfection in institutions - as a political virtue.

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Leslie Green
Oxford University

Citations of this work

Political Legitimacy as a Problem of Judgment.Thomas Fossen - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):89-113.
Political Legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Political Authority and Unjust Wars.Massimo Renzo - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):336-357.
Authority, Illocutionary Accommodation, and Social Accommodation.N. P. Adams - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):560-573.
Quasi-Expressivism About Statements of Law: A Hartian Theory.Stephen Finlay & David Plunkett - 2018 - In John Gardner, Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-86.

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