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What is Freedom of Association, and What is its Denial?

Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2008

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 08-025

2 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2007  

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

Freedom of association, as I understand it, refers to the liberty a person possesses to enter into relationships with others - for any and all purposes, for a momentary or long-term duration, by contract, consent, or acquiescence. It likewise refers to the liberty to refuse to enter into such relationships or to terminate them when not otherwise compelled by one's voluntary assumption of an obligation to maintain the relationship. Freedom of association thus is a quite capacious liberty.

I am going to approach the topic of freedom of association by attempting to illustrate what its denial would look like in each of several domains. I shall then ask why a government might seek to deny it and then, in the article's final section, on what grounds such a denial would violate the rights with respect to freedom of association of those affected.

Keywords: freedom of association

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Larry, What is Freedom of Association, and What is its Denial? (June 2008). Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2008; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 08-025. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1008941

Lawrence Alexander (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)

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