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Relative Authority

29 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012  

Nicole Roughan

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2011


This paper, part of a larger project on the pluralism of authority, examines the implications of overlapping legal/political authorities, and their interrelationships, for existing theories of legitimate authority. It argues that prevailing theories of authority cannot adequately explain such plurality, and offers a new theory of ‘relative authority’ to both explain how plurality of legitimate authority is possible, and to evaluate the legitimacy of the relationships which result.

Keywords: Authority, Pluralism, Raz

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Roughan, Nicole, Relative Authority (November 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Nicole Roughan (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776

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