By Leslie Green
Arguing that purely the consent of the ruled can justify authority, this monograph investigates the character of authority and the nature of the nation, evaluates the fashionable state's declare to authority over its voters, and assesses the theories of conventionalism, contractarianism, and communitarianism.
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Additional info for The Authority of the State (Clarendon Paperbacks)
Moreover, this was also consonant with a pre-existing tradition of scepticism in the English-speaking world. In contrast with Germany or France where critical reflection about political life tends to begin with the notion of the state, our first thoughts run to 'politics' or 'government'. 2 Or perhaps weaker central governments and the common law tradition make state ' C. H. Titus, 'A Nomenclature in Political Science', American Political Science Review 25 (>930,45-6o. 2 Cf. K. H. F. Dyson, The State Tradition in Western Europe (Oxford: Martin Robinson, 1980), ch.
Someone claims authority when he makes requirements of another which he intends to be taken as binding, content-independent reasons for action; his authority is recognized when another so treats the requirements; and, in the standard case, authority exists when its claims are generally recognized. From either point of view, the authority is regarded as legitimate, and this is a privileged point of view in its identification. In this sense only is 'legitimate authority' primary: one has de facto authority only if one claims or is recognized as having legitimate authority.
But the value of being able to assume such obligations cannot be wholly justified by its capacity to do this. Even when I have an antecedent obligation to