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A Theory of Political Obligation – Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society

Margaret Gilbert


Does one have special obligations to support the political institutions of one’s own country precisely because it is one’s own? In short, does one have political obligations? This book argues for an affirmative answer, construing one’s country as a political society of which one is a member, and a political society as a special type of social group. The obligations in question are not moral requirements derived from general moral principles. They come, rather, from one’s participation in a special kind of commitment: a joint commitment. This theory is referred to as the plural subject theory o ... More

Keywords: actual contract theory, agreements, country, joint commitment, membership, moral requirement, political authority, political obligation, social group, social rule

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199274956
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199274959.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Margaret Gilbert, author
University of Connecticut
Author Webpage