On the Territorial Rights of States. The rights claimed are minimally those that states must exercise if they are to retain effective control over their territories and populations in a world composed of numerous autonomous states.
The main function of political legitimacy, on this interpretation, is to explain the difference between merely effective or de facto authority and legitimate authority.
John Locke put forward such an interpretation of legitimacy. The solution to this problem is a social contract that transfers political authority to a civil state that can realize and secure the natural law.
|Political Legitimacy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)||The natural law concept existed long before Locke as a way of expressing the idea that there were certain moral truths that applied to all people, regardless of the particular place where they lived or the agreements they had made.|
|On the Territorial Rights of States.|
According to Locke, and contrary to his predecessor Thomas Hobbes, the social contract thus does not create authority. Political authority is embodied in individuals and pre-exists in the state of nature. The social contract transfers the authority they each enjoy in the state of nature to a particular political body.
While political authority thus pre-exists in the state of nature, legitimacy is a concept that is specific to the civil state. Because the criterion of legitimacy that Locke proposes is historical, however, what counts as legitimate authority remains connected to the state of nature.
The legitimacy of political authority in the civil state depends, according to Locke, on whether the transfer of authority has happened in the right way. Locke understands the consent criterion to apply not just to the original institutionalization of a political authority—what Rawls It also applies to the ongoing evaluation of the performance of a political regime—Rawls Although Locke emphasises consent, consent is not, however, sufficient for legitimate authority because an authority that suspends the natural law is necessarily illegitimate e.
On some interpretations of Locke e. Pitkinconsent is not even necessary for legitimate political authority; it is only a marker of illegitimacy.
Whether an actual political regime respects the constraints of the natural law is thus at least one factor that determines its legitimacy. This criterion of legitimacy is negative: When a political authority fails to secure consent or oversteps the boundaries of the natural law, it ceases to be legitimate and, therefore, there is no longer an obligation to obey its commands.
For Locke—unlike for Hobbes—political authority can thus not be absolute. John Simmons uses them to argue that we should distinguish between the moral justification of states in general and the political legitimacy of actual states. I will come back to this point in section 3.
Joseph Raz links legitimacy to the justification of political authority. According to Raz, political authority is just a special case of the more general concept of authority, He defines authority in relation to a claim—of a person or an agency—to generate what he calls pre-emptive reasons.
Such reasons replace other reasons for action that people might have. For example, if a teacher asks her students to do some homework, she expects her say-so to give the students reason to do the homework. Authority is effective, on this view, if it gets people to act on the reasons it generates.
Legitimate authority satisfies what Raz calls the pre-emption thesis: There are limits to what even a legitimate authority can rightfully order others to do, which is why it does not necessarily replace all relevant reasons.
When is effective or de facto authority legitimate? In other words, what determines whether the pre-emption thesis is satisfied? In full, the normal justification thesis says: The normal justification thesis explains why those governed by a legitimate authority ought to treat its directives as binding.
It thus follows as a corollary of the normal justification thesis that such an authority generates a duty to be obeyed. Note that even though legitimate authority is defined as a special case of effective authority, only the former is appropriately described as a serving its subjects.
Illegitimate—but effective—authority does not serve those it aims to govern, although it may purport to do so. William Edmundson formulates this way of linking authority and legitimacy via a condition he calls the warranty thesis: The idea expressed by the warranty thesis is that legitimacy morally justifies an independently existing authority such that the claims of the authority become moral obligations.Works by A.
John Simmons (view other items matching `A. John In this essay I will discuss the relationship between two of the most basic ideas in political and legal philosophy: the justification of the state and state legitimacy.
The essays focus on the problems of political obligation and state legitimacy as well as on historical. In “Justification and Legitimacy” Simmons contends that Locke's political philosophy provides the model for the conceptual distinction between state justification and state legitimacy which has been lost in what he terms the Kantian turn of contemporary political philosophy.
classical contract thinkers.1 A. John Simmons, drawing on Locke, writes that “A state’s (or government’s) legitimacy is the complex moral right it possesses to be the exclusive imposer of binding duties on its sub-.
8 A. John Simmons, Justification and Legitimacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ), of even a reasonably just state is sufficient to establish that no state can have the full legitimate.
Samaritanism and political legitimacy. Here is a crucial question of political philosophy: Does the state have a right to coerce its subjects? Another way of posing this question is to ask whether some actual states are legitimate. Simmons draws a distinction between the moral justification of states and the political legitimacy of a particular, historically realized, state and its directives.
According to Simmons, the state’s justification depends on its moral defensibility.