Chapter

Political Societies

Margaret Gilbert

in A Theory of Political Obligation

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199274956
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603976 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199274959.003.0009
 Political Societies

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A political society was defined in Chapter 1 as a society with institutions of governance. These institutions are its institutions. Three kinds of institution of governance are discussed, all involving social rules of one kind or another: governing rules, personal rule, and rules of governance or constitutional rules. The nature of social rules is explored in counterpoint to the classical account of H.L.A. Hart, and an alternative joint commitment account is offered. Given this account, the members of a political society are jointly committed to uphold its institutions of governance. By the argument of the previous chapters, they will then be obligated to uphold the institutions in question. This is the gist of the plural subject theory of political obligation.

Keywords: H.L.A. Hart; institutions of governance; joint commitment; plural subject theory; political obligation; political society; social rules

Chapter.  14784 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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