Review of Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary by Evan Fox-Decent [Book Review]

Ethics 123 (1):150-4 (2012)

Matthew J. Lister
Deakin University
In Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary, Evan Fox-Decent uses the idea of fiduciary relationships to explain the legitimate exercise of governmental authority. He makes use of the idea of the state as a fiduciary for the people to ground an account of the duty to obey the law, to explain the proper relationships between colonial (or “settler”) societies and aboriginal populations, the role of agency discretion and judicial review in the administrative state, the rule of law, the relationship between law and morality, and the foundations of human rights. While I was not convinced by several of the arguments, the book does have many important virtues. In particular, it provides a clear discussion of the idea of fiduciary relationships and duties that is useful for, and should be largely accessible to, non-lawyers. And, though I do not think that Fox-Decent has established all that he hoped to in the book, he does a good job of showing how fiduciary relationships are relevant to the above issues and worth considering.
Keywords Sovereignty  Rule of Law  legal theory  fiduciary duties  legitimacy  Human rights
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,878
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is the Rule of Law Really Indifferent to Human Rights?Evan Fox-Decent - 2008 - Law and Philosophy 27 (6):533 - 581.
Getting Real.Andrew Wicks - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (2):273-293.
Fiduciary Duty and Socially Responsible Investing.George R. Gay - 2003 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (1):49-54.
A Fiduciary Argument Against Stakeholder Theory.Alexei M. Marcoux - 2003 - Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (1):1-24.
Law and Sovereignty.Pavlos Eleftheriadis - 2010 - Law and Philosophy 29 (5):535-569.
Fiduciary Duties and the Shareholder-Management Relation.John R. Boatright - 1994 - Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):393-407.


Added to PP index

Total views
55 ( #129,658 of 2,318,903 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #141,696 of 2,318,903 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature