The Moral Limits of Law: Obedience, Respect, and Legitimacy

Hardcover | July 21, 2004

byRuth C. A. Higgins

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The Moral Limits of Law analyses the related debates concerning the moral obligation to obey the law, conscientious citizenship, and state legitimacy. Modern societies are drawn in a tension between the centripetal pull of the local and the centrifugal stress of the global. Boundaries thatonce appeared permanent are now permeable: transnational legal, economic, and trade institutions increasingly erode the autonomy of states. Nonetheless transnational principles are still typically effected through state law. For law's subjects, this tension brings into focus the interaction of legaland moral obligations and the legitimacy of state authority. This volume incorporates a comprehensive critical analysis of the methodology and substance of the debates in recent legal, political, and moral philosophy, regarding political obligation and the moral obligation to obey the law. The author argues that traditional accounts of political obligationthat assume a bounded conception of the polity are no longer tenable. Higgins therefore presents an original theory of the conscientious agent's attitude towards law that accommodates the contemporary social tension between local and global obligations.

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The Moral Limits of Law analyses the related debates concerning the moral obligation to obey the law, conscientious citizenship, and state legitimacy. Modern societies are drawn in a tension between the centripetal pull of the local and the centrifugal stress of the global. Boundaries thatonce appeared permanent are now permeable: tran...

Ruth C. A. Higgins graduated with first class honours in law from Glasgow University in 1995, as joint winner of the Dr John MacCormick Prize for the Most Distinguished Graduate in Law and winner of the Bennet Miller Prize for Private Law. Between 1996 and 2000, she undertook her DPhil at Balliol College, Oxford, on a Snell Scholarshi...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:292 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.84 inPublished:July 21, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199265674

ISBN - 13:9780199265671

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Problem of Conscientious Obedience2. Respect for Persons and Law3. Consent, Residence, and the Democratic Voice4. Community, Identity, and Joint Commitment5. The Burdens of Benefit6. Benevolence and Gratitude7. The Implications of RespectBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`There is much of value in this volume for the philosopher trying to understand the nature of the obligation to obey the law within the modern polity. The extended discussions of theorists such as Dworkin, Green, Soper and Rawls in the later chapters are insightful and useful. Higgins managesto produce a fascinating and provoking account of obedience...'Sean Coyle, The Cambridge Law Journal