Consent by Residence: A Defense

European Journal of Political Theory 18:1-18 (forthcoming)

Authors
Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University
Abstract
The traditional view according to which we adults tacitly consent to a state’s lawful actions just by living within its borders—the residence theory—is now widely rejected by political philosophers. According to the critics, this theory fails because consent must be (i) intentional, (ii) informed, and (iii) voluntary, whereas one’s continued residence within a state is typically none of these things. Few people intend to remain within the state in which they find themselves, and few realize that by remaining they are consenting to the state’s lawful actions. Moreover, the various obstacles standing in the way of us leaving the state render our remaining involuntary. Thus, the critics conclude, few if any people can be considered to have consented through their residence. I argue that these objections fail and that the residence theory remains a viable option, at least for those who are not committed incompatibilists.
Keywords Consent  Political authority  Political obligation  Social Contract  Tacit Consent
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DOI 10.1177/1474885119833009
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Who Knew?: Responsiblity Without Awareness.George Sher - 2009 - Oxford University Press USA.
Freedom Within Reason.Gary Watson & Susan Wolf - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):890.

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