A Fair Play Account of Legitimate Political Authority

Legal Theory 23 (1):55-67 (2017)
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There is an emerging consensus among political philosophers that state legitimacy involves something more than—or perhaps other than—political obligation. Yet the principle of fair play, which many take to be a promising basis for political obligation, has been largely absent from discussions of the revised conception of legitimacy. This paper shows how the principle of fair play can generate legitimate political authority by drawing on a neglected feature of the principle—its stipulation that members of a cooperative scheme must reciprocate specifically by submitting to the scheme's rules.

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Justin Tosi
Texas Tech University


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