Legitimacy and Justice in Republican Perspective
Current Legal Problems, Vol 65, 2012, 59-82
24 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2012
Let justice be a feature of the social order imposed by a state and legitimacy a feature of how it is imposed: one that makes the imposition acceptable. This paper argues that, so understood, legitimacy is quite a distinct concern from justice; that the core concern is with showing how state coercion is consistent with people’s being free citizens; that this does not require showing that the state exists by consensus or contract; that the best hope of satisfying the concern lies with arguing that state coercion need not be dominating; and that this is possible only within the republican theory that identifies freedom with the absence of domination, not interference.
Keywords: justice, legitimacy, Republicanism
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