Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists

Abstract
One of the main challenges faced by realists in political philosophy is that of offering an account of authority that is genuinely normative and yet does not consist of a moralistic application of general, abstract ethical principles to the practice of politics. Political moralists typically start by devising a conception of justice based on their pre-political moral commitments; authority would then be legitimate only if political power is exercised in accordance with justice. As an alternative to that dominant approach I put forward the idea that upturning the relationship between justice and legitimacy affords a normative notion of authority that does not depend on a pre-political account of morality, and thus avoids some serious problems faced by mainstream theories of justice. I then argue that the appropriate purpose of justice is simply to specify the implementation of an independently grounded conception of legitimacy, which in turn rests on a context- and practice-sensitive understanding of the purpose of political power.
Keywords justice  legitimacy  political realism  political moralism  political idealism  authority
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2012.651016
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References found in this work BETA
Philosophy and Real Politics.Raymond Geuss - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
Realism in Political Theory.William A. Galston - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.
"The Law of Peoples: With" The Idea of Public Reason Revisited,".John Rawls - 2002 - Philosophy East and West 52 (3):396-396.

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Citations of this work BETA
Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
How to Do Realistic Political Theory.Edward Hall - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):283-303.
Practice-Dependence and Epistemic Uncertainty.Eva Erman - 2017 - Journal of Global Ethics 13 (2):187-205.

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