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James Furner

'Tacit consent' has long interested historians of political thought and political philosophers, but its nuances nevertheless remain unappreciated. It has its roots in the Roman law concept of a 'tacit declaration of will'. Explicating this concept allows a new conception of tacit consent to be proposed, which I term the 'tacit declaration of consent'. The tacit declaration of consent avoids both the triviality of common sense views and a weakness in Hobbes' account. Unlike other contemporary philosophical accounts, it avoids fictions and meets the condition of intentionality. Furthermore, it also advances understanding of the sorts of claim offered by proponents of a tacit consent-based theory of political obligation, whilst facilitating a more radical critique. The tacit consent-based theory of political obligation is not simply limited in application, but indefensible. It unwarrantedly transposes onto tacit consent the potentially fictional character of declarations of will.

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Reflecting on Fifty Years of Democratic Theory

Carole Pateman in Conversation with Graham Smith

Carole Pateman and Graham Smith

Carole Pateman reflects on her fifty years of scholarship in conversation with Graham Smith. The discussion focuses particular attention on Pateman’s work on participatory democracy and considers her contributions to debates on political obligation, feminism, basic income, and deliberative democracy.

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Vittorio Bufacchi

are natural duties, not political obligations. In fact, unlike political obligations, natural duties apply notwithstanding the institutional context: ‘Now in contrast with obligations, [natural duties] have no necessary connection with institutions

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Tolerating the Conditionally Tolerant

The Uneasy Case of Salvation Religions

William A. Edmundson

decent simply because it employs state power to assure that society is centered upon a comprehensive doctrine. And yet decent peoples can have genuine political obligations to their governing regimes – obligations (like those of liberal citizens) to obey