The Triadic Relational Structure of Responsibility: A Defence

Alon Harel

in Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592814
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729034 | DOI:
The Triadic Relational Structure of Responsibility: A Defence

Show Summary Details


The central characteristic of responsibility as developed by Duff is the ‘triadic relational concept’ consisting of a relation between an agent A who is responsible for something X to somebody S and in virtue of being a member of a unit of responsibility, e.g., a neighbourhood or a state. This chapter rejects several justifications for Duff's theory of responsibility and justifies the triadic relational structure of responsibility in terms of self governance. Under this justification, individuals conduct their lives in different spheres. Each sphere is governed by a community that engages in an enterprise consisting of a thick set of norms and practices. It is important that it is primarily members of the community who ultimately determine the content of these norms and practices. By conforming to the dictates of the triadic relational structure one guards the rights of members (of the unit of responsibility) to govern themselves.

Keywords: responsibility; criminal responsibility; liability; triadic relational structure of responsibility; criminal law theory; punishment; liberal theory of punishment; self governance; civic responsibilities

Chapter.  10517 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.