Liberal Rights and Responsibilities: Essays on Citizenship and Sovereignty

Hardcover | September 25, 2013

byChristopher Heath Wellman

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The twin questions at the heart of political philosophy are "Why may the state forcibly impose itself on its constituents?" and "Why must citizens obey the state's commands?" In Liberal Rights and Responsibilities, Christopher Heath Wellman offers original responses to these fundamentalquestions and then, building upon these answers, defends a number of distinctive positions concerning the rights and responsibilities individual citizens, separatist groups, and political states have regarding one another. The first four chapters combine to critically discuss standard theories of political obligation and then to introduce Wellman's samaritan explanation of our duty to obey the law. The next three papers challenge the traditional approaches to group autonomy en route to advancing Wellman's functionalaccount of political self-determination. Next Wellman reviews group responsibility and argues that, in addition to discharging our individual moral duties, each of us must do our share to ensure that the groups to which we belong do not perpetrate injustice. In the ninth chapter, Wellman invokesfreedom of association to provide a defense of a legitimate state's right to unilaterally design and enforce an exclusionary immigration policy. The last two essays are on punishment; the first defends the rights forfeiture justification of punishment, and the second combines this rights forfeituretheory with the samaritan account of political legitimacy to explain why legitimate states may permissibly assume exclusive control over the enforcement of criminal law. Taken as a group, these eleven essays - one new and ten previously published - aim to vindicate a liberal political philosopher's capacity to begin with relatively modest moral principles and still arrive at robust conclusions in favor of the moral standing of legitimate states.

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The twin questions at the heart of political philosophy are "Why may the state forcibly impose itself on its constituents?" and "Why must citizens obey the state's commands?" In Liberal Rights and Responsibilities, Christopher Heath Wellman offers original responses to these fundamentalquestions and then, building upon these answers, d...

Christopher Heath Wellman is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis. He works in ethics, specializing in political and legal philosophy. His previous books include A Theory of Secession (2005); (with John Simmons) Is There a Duty to Obey the Law? (2005); (with Andrew Altman) A Liberal Theory of International Jus...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:September 25, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019998218X

ISBN - 13:9780199982189

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Associative Allegiances and Political Obligations2. Relational Facts in Liberal Theory: Is There Magic in the Pronoun "My"?3. Toward a Liberal Theory of Political Obligation4. Political Obligation and the Particularity Requirement5. A Defense of Secession and Political Self-Determination6. The Truth in the Nationalist Principle7. Group Autonomy and State Sovereignty8. Group Autonomy and State Sovereignty9. Immigration and Freedom of Association10. The Rights Forfeiture Theory of Punishment11. Rights and State PunishmentIndex