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postgraduate thesis: Farewell to political obligation : toward a new liberal theory of political legitimacy

TitleFarewell to political obligation : toward a new liberal theory of political legitimacy
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhu, J. [朱佳峰]. (2013). Farewell to political obligation : toward a new liberal theory of political legitimacy. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5177306
AbstractIs there a general moral duty to obey the law because it is the law? This is the question of political obligation. The issue of political obligation is allegedly a central topic of political philosophy, because political obligation is often assumed to be necessary for state legitimacy; that is to say, for a state to be legitimate, it must be capable of imposing political obligation on the governed. Nonetheless, the literature has indicated that it is enormously difficult, at least within the liberal doctrine that many find most attractive, to justify political obligation. Given that political obligation is viewed as an indispensable part of state legitimacy, skepticism about political obligation points to a seemingly inescapable yet disturbing conclusion: no existing liberal state is legitimate, no matter how just it is. This skeptical position is also known as philosophical anarchism. This study aims to show that philosophical anarchism is not as irresistible as it appears. But I do not take the traditional approach of refuting philosophical anarchism by defending or developing theories of political obligation. On the contrary, I devote the first part of my thesis to consolidating the skepticism about political obligation. The approach I favor is to argue that political obligation is not necessary for state legitimacy. If this point can be established, then even if political obligation is unjustified, it will not automatically lead to philosophical anarchism. This constitutes the second part of my thesis, where I develop a conception of “legitimacy without political obligation” and defend it against the objection that it is either conceptually or morally wrong to claim that a legitimate state need not impose political obligation on its subjects.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectLegitimacy of governments
Skepticism
Political obligation
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196492

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLee, EWY-
dc.contributor.advisorSteinhoff, UB-
dc.contributor.authorZhu, Jiafeng-
dc.contributor.author朱佳峰-
dc.date.accessioned2014-04-11T23:14:31Z-
dc.date.available2014-04-11T23:14:31Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationZhu, J. [朱佳峰]. (2013). Farewell to political obligation : toward a new liberal theory of political legitimacy. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5177306-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196492-
dc.description.abstractIs there a general moral duty to obey the law because it is the law? This is the question of political obligation. The issue of political obligation is allegedly a central topic of political philosophy, because political obligation is often assumed to be necessary for state legitimacy; that is to say, for a state to be legitimate, it must be capable of imposing political obligation on the governed. Nonetheless, the literature has indicated that it is enormously difficult, at least within the liberal doctrine that many find most attractive, to justify political obligation. Given that political obligation is viewed as an indispensable part of state legitimacy, skepticism about political obligation points to a seemingly inescapable yet disturbing conclusion: no existing liberal state is legitimate, no matter how just it is. This skeptical position is also known as philosophical anarchism. This study aims to show that philosophical anarchism is not as irresistible as it appears. But I do not take the traditional approach of refuting philosophical anarchism by defending or developing theories of political obligation. On the contrary, I devote the first part of my thesis to consolidating the skepticism about political obligation. The approach I favor is to argue that political obligation is not necessary for state legitimacy. If this point can be established, then even if political obligation is unjustified, it will not automatically lead to philosophical anarchism. This constitutes the second part of my thesis, where I develop a conception of “legitimacy without political obligation” and defend it against the objection that it is either conceptually or morally wrong to claim that a legitimate state need not impose political obligation on its subjects.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshLegitimacy of governments-
dc.subject.lcshSkepticism-
dc.subject.lcshPolitical obligation-
dc.titleFarewell to political obligation : toward a new liberal theory of political legitimacy-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5177306-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5177306-

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