Philosophy 209 - 11.3 Political Legitimacy and Duty

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify two key arguments for political legitimacy.
  • Explain how a person might have a duty to others without having an obligation to the state.

No matter what system of government a society adopts, a government needs authority to rule. What gives rulers their authority, and what rights, if any, do citizens have? One fundamental question of political theory becomes, What are the sources of the legitimacy of a political system, and by extension, how much authority do rulers or leaders have over citizens? Further, what obligations does a state owe its citizens, and vice versa? This section will explore different ideas and characteristics of the source of authority and the obligations of its members.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax