Political obligation refers to the moral obligation of citizens to obey the law of their state and to the existence, nature, and justification of a special relationship between a government and its constituents. This volume in the Contemporary Anarchist Studies series challenges this relationship, seeking to define and defend the position of critical philosophical anarchism against alternative approaches to the issue of justification of political institutions.
The book sets out to demonstrate the value of taking an anarchist approach to the problem of political authority, looking at theories of natural duty, state justification, natural duty of justice, fairness, political institutions, and more. It argues that the anarchist perspective is in fact indispensable to theorists of political obligation and can improve our views of political authority and social relations.
This accessible book builds on the works of philosophical anarchists such as John Simmons and Leslie Green, and discusses key theorists, including Rousseau, Rawls, and Horton. This key resource will make an important contribution to anarchist political theory and to anarchist studies more generally.
Magda Egoumenides is Visiting Lecturer at the University of Cyprus. She has published articles in the Review Journal of Political Philosophy, Isopolitia, and the book Critical Philosophical Anarchism.
TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1. THE VARIETY OF ANARCHISMS. DEFINING CRITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL ANARCHISM WITHIN THE CURRENT DEBATE ON ANARCHISM 2. THE MAIN PARTS AND UNDERLYING IDEAS OF MY ARGUMENT CHAPTER ONE: WHAT THE PROBLEM IS 1.1. THE PROBLEM OF POLITICAL OBLIGATION 1.1.i. The Correlativity Thesi 1.1.ii. The Two Main Aspects of the Problem of Political Obligation 1.1.iii. Quality-Based and Interaction-Based Evaluations of Political Institutions 1.1.iv. The Conditions of Political Obligation 1.2. THE PARADOX OF AUTHORITY 1.3. DISSOLVING THE PARADOX: ROUSSEAU AS A PARADIGM OF STATE JUSTIFICATION 1.4. RAZ'S THEORY AS AN ILLUSTRATION 1.5. THE ARGUMENT FOR CRITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL ANARCHISM 1.5.1. An Alternative to Prominent Positions on the State 1.5.2. Improving the Way Critical Philosophical Anarchists See Their Position. Simmons' Theory as an Illustration 1.5.2.i. Simmons' Theory 1.5.2.ii. Specific Arguments against Simmons 1.5.2.iii. A More General Departure from Simmons' Approach 1.6. CONCLUSION CHAPTER TWO.: THE LIMITS OF VOLUNTARISM 2.1. AN ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF VOLUNTARIST THEORIES OF POLITICAL OBLIGATION 2.1.1. Actual Consent 2.1.2. Tacit Consent 2.1.3. Hypothetical Consent 2.1.4. Raz on Consent 2.1.5. Social Contract Theories 2.1.6. A Defense of Hypothetical Contractualism 2.2. DISMISSING THE CONCEPTUAL ARGUMENT FOR POLITICAL OBLIGATION 2.3. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF CONSENT CHAPTER THREE: AN ANARCHIST CRITIQUE OF THE RAWLSIAN IDEA OF A NATURAL DUTY OF JUSTICE 3.1. RAWLS' THEORY AND THE NATURAL DUTY OF JUSTICE 3.2. AN ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF THE NATURAL DUTY OF JUSTICE 3.2.1. Against the Justice of Political Institutions as a Ground of Political Obligation 3.2.2. The Argument Arising from Particularity 3.2.3. Rawls and Particularity 3.2.4. Self-Governance, Equality, and the Role of General Moral Principles 3.3. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF NATURAL DUTY CHAPTER FOUR: THE FAILURE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS AS AN ACCOUNT OF POLITICAL OBLIGATION 4.1. THE PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS 4.2. "TRIVIALITY," "SUCCESS," AND "JUSTICE" 4.3. THE ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS 4.3.1. "Receipt" versus "Acceptance" 4.3.1.i. Objections to Understanding Fairness Obligations in Terms of "Receipt" 4.3.1.ii. Klosko's Defense of "Receipt" 4.3.1.iii. Simmons on "Acceptance" 4.3.1.iv. The Significance of "Acceptance" 4.3.2. Fairness, Political Obligation, and the Idea of Societies as "Schemes of Social Cooperation" 4.4. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ANARCHIST CRITICISM OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS CHAPTER FIVE: HORTON REVISITED 5.1.HORTON'S PRELIMINARY ARGUMENTS FOR ASSOCIATIVE POLITICAL OBLIGATIONS 5.1.1. About a Non-Voluntarist Contract Theory 5.1.2. On the Communitarian Approach 5.1.3. Against Associative Political Obligations 5.2. HORTON'S CONSTRUCTIVE ACCOUNT OF ASSOCIATIVE POLITICAL OBLIGATIONS AND THE ANARCHIST CHALLENGE 5.2.1. The Significance of Membership Argument 5.2.2. The Hobbesian, or Value, Argument 5.2.3. The Associative Argument 5.2.4. The Anarchist Challenge 5.3. THE CHALLENGE FROM MORAL UNIVERSALISM 5.4. CONCLUDING REMARKS: THE VALUE OF HORTON'S ASSOCIATIVE THEORY CHAPTER SIX: WHERE FRIENDS OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND ANARCHISTS ARE IN THE SAME BOAT 6.1. NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE POINTS RESULTING FROM THE ANARCHIST CRITICISMS 6.1.1. The Negative Conclusions 6.1.2. The Positive Conclusions 6.1.3. The Implications of the Anarchist Challenge for Political Thought and Practice 6.2. THE CONTRIBUTION OF CRITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL ANARCHISM 6.2.1. The Anarchist Perspective 6.2.2. The Significance of the Question of Obligation 6.2.3. Justification as an Endless Process 6.2.4. The Anarchist Ideal of Legitimacy 6.3. CONCLUSION CHAPTER SEVEN: ANARCHISM: PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL 7.1. THE TASKS OF POLITICAL ANARCHISTS 7.2. A CRITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL ANARCHIST CRITIQUE OF BOOKCHIN'S ANARCHIST POLITICAL PROGRAM 7.2.1. Bookchin Revisited 7.2.2. A Poststructuralist Intervention 7.2.3. The Gordonian "Anarchy Alive!" 7.3. ANARCHIST APPROACHES TO CONCRETE DILEMMAS CONCLUSION OVERVIEW OF THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY