The Authority of States

Joseph Raz

in The Morality of Freedom

Published in print September 1988 | ISBN: 9780198248071
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598289 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 The Authority of States

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The normal justification of authority, as examined in Ch. 3, yields the conclusion that the extent of governmental authority varies from person to person. It cannot justify the authority that governments, in fact, claim for themselves in the case of most people. An analysis of consent is provided in order to explore the prospect that consent might serve to extend the scope of the authority of states. It is argued that consent can ground an extension of political authority only so far as it is non‐instrumentally valuable. Those who, as a mode of expressing identification with their community, consent to the authority of reasonably just governments or respect their laws, are subject to that authority since such modes of consent have non‐instrumental value.

Keywords: community; consent; political authority; respect; value

Chapter.  13756 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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