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LegitimacyThe State and Beyond$
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Wojciech Sadurski, Michael Sevel, and Kevin Walton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825265.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2021

The Control Theory of Legitimacy

The Control Theory of Legitimacy

(p.7) I The Control Theory of Legitimacy

Philip Pettit

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the problem of legitimacy (that of morally justifying the way a state exercises monopoly power over its adult, able-minded, more or less permanently resident members) that every state poses and looks at different grounds on which a state might be thought to be legitimate. It considers benefit-based, merit-based, and will-based theories of state legitimacy. It suggests that theories of the third type, according to which the will of the state must not be dominating, are best from a republican perspective. It then considers three will-based approaches. Of these, it argues, only the ‘control’ approach ensures that individuals are not dominated.

Keywords:   legitimacy, authority, political obligation, state, republicanism, consent, command, non-domination

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