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Access_open Legitimiteit, gemeenschap en rechtvaardigheid

Een kritiek op Dworkins verklaring voor legitimiteit

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords legitimacy, associative obligations, justice, community, Dworkin
Authors Thomas Decreus
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Law’s Empire Ronald Dworkin offers a specific answer to the age old question of political legitimacy. According to Dworkin, legitimacy originates in a ‘true community’ that is able to generate associative obligations among its members. In this article I illustrate how this answer contrasts with the moral and political principle of justice. The question remains how a conceptual link can be found between a community-based view on legitimacy and a more universal demand for justice. I try to answer this question by offering a close reading of Law’s Empire and other basic essays in Dworkin’s philosophy of law. In my attempt to solve this problem I propose an alternative view on community and legitimacy. In opposition to Dworkin I claim that legitimacy is prior to the community.


Thomas Decreus
Thomas Decreus is PhD student in political philosophy at the KULeuven Institute of Philosophy.
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