Publication details

"Political Legitimacy without a (Claim-) Right to Rule," Res Publica 21 (3): 291-307

Article

Author(s): Reglitz, Merten
Year of publication: 2015

Abstract: In the contemporary philosophical literature, political legitimacy is often identified with a right to rule. However, this term is problematic. First, if we accept an interest theory of rights, it often remains unclear whose interests justify a right to rule (the 'grounds of authority' question): either the interest of the holders of this right to rule or the interests of those subject to the authority. And second, if we analyse the right to rule in terms of Wesley Hohfeld's characterization of rights, we find disagreement among philosophers about what constitutes the conceptual core of political authority: a power-right or a claim-right to rule (the 'nature of authority question'). In this paper I show that both of these are problematic for a number of reasons. First, if we think that it is only the interests of the holders of a right to rule that justify the possession of authority, the conceptual core of authority must consist in a claim-right. However, this understanding of authority biases our thinking about legitimacy in favor of democratic exercises of power. Second, if we hold such a decisively democratic view of legitimacy, we confront an impasse with respect to addressing global collective action problems. Although it is clear that political authority is necessary or useful for solving these issues, it is doubtful that we can establish global institutions that are democratically authorized anytime soon. The paper suggests an alternative 'Power-Right to Command View' of political legitimacy that avoids the democratic bias and allows thinking about solving global problems with the help of global service authorities.

Keywords: democracy, Global Justice, legitimacy, Authority, Hohfeld

Research area: Research Area 1: The Normativity of Normative Orders: Origins, Vanishing Points, Performativitiy
Research project: Sustainable Development, Global Governance, and Justice
Subject(s): political science, philosophy

10.1007/s11158-015-9267-0
Full text: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11158-015-9267-0

Back to publications list


Headlines

„Frankfurter interdisziplinäre Debatte“. Frankfurter Forschungsinstitute laden zum Austausch über disziplinen-übergreifende Plattform ein

Die „Frankfurter interdisziplinäre Debatte“ ist ein Versuch des Dialogs zwischen Vertreter*innen unterschiedlicher wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen zu aktuellen Fragestellungen – derzeit im Kontext der Corona-Krise und u.a. mit Beiträgen von Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff, Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst und Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther. Seit Ende März 2020 ist die Onlineplattform der Initiative (www.frankfurter-debatte.de) verfügbar. Mehr...

Bundesministerin Karliczek gibt Startschuss für das neue Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt

In einer Pressekonferenz hat Bundesministerin Anja Karliczek am 28. Mai 2020 den Startschuss für das neue Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt (FGZ) gegeben. Mit dabei waren Sprecherin Prof. Nicole Deitelhoff (Goethe-Uni, Normative Orders), sowie der Geschäftsführende Sprecher Prof. Matthias Middell (Uni Leipzig) und Sprecher Prof. Olaf Groh-Samberg (Uni Bremen). Nun kann auch das Frankfurter Teilinstitut seine Arbeit aufnehmen. Mehr...

Upcoming Events

Bis Ende September 2020

In der Goethe-Universität finden mindestens bis Ende September 2020 keine Präsenzveranstaltungen statt. Das Veranstaltungsprogramm des Forschungsverbunds "Normative Ordnungen" wird ebenfalls bis auf Weiteres ausgesetzt.

29. Mai 2020, 18.30 Uhr

Virtual Workshop on the Political Turn(s) in Criminal Law Thinking: Gustavo Beade: The Voice of the Polity in the Criminal Law: A Liberal Republica. More...

-----------------------------------------

Latest Media

Krise und Demokratie

Mirjam Wenzel im Gespräch mit Rainer Forst
Tachles Videocast des Jüdischen Museum Frankfurt

Normative Orders Insights

... with Nicole Deitelhoff

New full-text Publications

Burchard, Christoph (2019):

Künstliche Intelligenz als Ende des Strafrechts? Zur algorithmischen Transformation der Gesellschaft. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2019. More...

Kettemann, Matthias (2020):

The Normative Order of the Internet. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2020. More...