Political Legitimacy and the Duty to Obey the Law

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):373 - 389 (2003)


A growing number of political and legal theorists deny that there is a widespread duty to obey the law. This has lent a sense of urgency to recent disagreements about whether a state’s legitimacy depends upon its ‘subjects” having a duty to obey the law. On one side of the disagreement, John Simmons, Robert Paul Wolff, David Copp, Hannah Pitkin, Leslie Green, George Klosko, and Joseph Raz hold that a state could only be legitimate if the vast majority of its subjects have a duty to obey the law. On the other side, M.B.E. Smith, Jeffrey Reiman, Kent Greenawalt

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References found in this work

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Justification and Legitimacy.A. John Simmons - 1999 - Ethics 109 (4):739-771.
Political Legitimacy and Democracy.Allen Buchanan - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):689-719.
Moral Principles and Political Obligations.Diana T. Meyers - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):472.
The Idea of a Legitimate State.David Copp - 1999 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 28 (1):3-45.

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Citations of this work

Assessing the Global Order: Justice, Legitimacy, or Political Justice?Laura Valentini - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (5):593-612.

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