Governmental Power: Quality or Identity? Comment on Alon Harel's Argument against Outsourcing Violence

Law and Ethics of Human Rights 5 (2):416-423 (2011)
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Abstract

What is the appropriate division of power between public officials and private individuals? The straightforward answer to this question, it seems, is that an official should have a power if she employs it (morally) better compared to a private individual. However, Alon Harel argues that this answer is misguided, or at least partially, since there are some decisions—mainly concerning the employment of violence—that should be made and implemented only by public officials regardless of the (relative) moral quality of the decision or action. In this comment I consider and criticize this argument.

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Re'em Segev
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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