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Consent and loyalty as bases of legitimate political authority

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Allen, JG (2013) Consent and loyalty as bases of legitimate political authority. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis examines consent as the purported criterion of legitimate political
authority and basis of political obligation in modern liberal democracies. Liberal
consent theory posits autonomy as the basis of legitimate political authority, in as
much as consent is an act of the individual’s free, autonomous will. Voluntary
subjection to political power transforms it into genuine political authority. On this
view, consent is the mechanism by which autonomy is protected in social interactions
generally, including those of a political nature. Only those political relationships that
are based on genuine, autonomy-protecting consent are legitimate: only they can give
rise to legitimate political authority over others and only they can give rise to real
obligations to obey any rule set over us by another.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
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Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 04:28
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:06
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