Why justice and injustice have no place outside the Hobbesian State

European Journal of Political Theory 14 (1):19-36 (2015)
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Despite the signpost prominence of Hobbesian positions in theories of international relations and global justice, the ground and nature of Hobbes’s claim that justice and injustice are non-existent outside the State are poorly understood. This paper aims to provide the first comprehensive explanation of this doctrine . I argue that Hobbes offers two distinct arguments for Justicial Statism: the Covenant and the Propriety Argument. Each argument is premised on a different conception of justice and stresses different implications of the natural right to all things. The Propriety Argument is based on distributive justice. First introduced in Leviathan, this argument has received little scholarly attention, although it is no trivial addition: the Covenant Argument alone cannot establish Justicial Statism. My reconstruction highlights two further, hitherto ignored presuppositions of Hobbes’s Justicial Statism: his rejection of natural rights governed by justice and his claim that violations of natural law do not wrong non-divine agents



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Johan Olsthoorn
University of Amsterdam

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The natural right to slack.Stanislas Richard - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (N/A).

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