Governmental Power: Quality or Identity? Comments on Alon Harel’s Argument Against Outsourcing Violence
Law & Ethics of Human Rights, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 416-423, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2011
What is the appropriate division of power between public officials and private individuals? The straightforward answer to this question, it seems, is that an official should have a power if she employs it (morally) better compared to a private individual. However, Alon Harel argues that this answer is misguided, or at least partially, since there are some decisions — mainly concerning the employment of violence — that should be made and implemented only by public officials regardless of the (relative) moral quality of the decision or action. In this comment I consider and criticize this argument.
Keywords: Government, Public Official, Legal Power, Privatization
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