Political Obligation and State Legitimacy
This colloquium explored the problem of political obligation and state legitimacy, which are central problems in any perspective characterized by a serious commitment to individual liberty. Are citizens obligated to obey their government’s commands when failing to do so will not amount to violating other individuals’ rights? Are the putative good consequences of governance enough to generate a civic obligation to obey—and a right to the state to be obeyed? Can individual liberty extend to a right to “ignore the state,” as Herbert Spencer asserted?
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