II: Justifying the State
Two essential features:
1) Maintains monopoly of legitimate violence
2) Protection of all citizens within its territories
1) What is meant by “legitimate”? Is the monopoly ever actually maintained?
2) Do all states actually protect all citizens all the time?
How can the state be justified?
Negative vs. Positive justifications
– one can imagine that life would be worse without a state: negative
– consent & utilitarianism: positive justifications
Wolff: the goal of justification is to show that there are universal political
Social Contract Theory
These theorists place much weight upon personal autonomy/natural liberty. As a
result, political institutions must be justified in terms of the will, choices, or
decisions of those over whom they have authority.
Self-assumption principle: no one has duties unless they have “assumed”, or
voluntarily taken them