The Authority of the State

The Authority of the State

4.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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The modern state claims supreme authority over the lives of all its citizens. Drawing together political philosophy, jurisprudence, and public choice theory, this book forces the reader to reconsider some basic assumptions about the authority of the state.

Various popular and influential theories - conventionalism, contractarianism, and communitarianism - are assessed by the author and found to fail. Leslie Green argues that only the consent of the governed can justify the state's claims to authority. While he denies that there is a general obligation to obey the law, he nonetheless rejects philosophical anarchism and defends civility - the willingness to tolerate some imperfection in institutions - as a political virtue.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 18mm | 384g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • text-figures
  • 0198273134
  • 9780198273134
  • 1,225,243

Review quote

'The Authority of the State is a much more powerful and focused discussion of political obligation than most of what we see in the philosophical literature. Leslie Green knows political science as well as jurisprudence and he is in a position to evaluate in detail the claims that states and legal systems actually make, as opposed to the claims that philsophers attribute to them in their hypothetical examples. And so the book's insistence on the importance
of consent and its hesitations about authority and obligation are more soundly based and much more interesting.' Jeremy Waldron, University Professor, NYU Law School
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Rating details

4 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 50% (2)
4 25% (1)
3 25% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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