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Law | Coercion and the State

Coercion and the State

Reidy, David A., Riker, Walter J. (Eds.)

2008, XI, 259 p.

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  • Focused on coercion in the domains of law and politics
  • Covers both the domestic and international political and legal orders
  • Up-to-date discussions of national security and terrorism, gay marriage, international institutions
  • Interdisciplinary discussion ranging across philosophy, political science, law, international relations

A signal feature of legal and political institutions is that they exercise coercive power. The essays in this volume examine institutional coercion with the aim of trying to understand its nature, justification and limits. Included are essays that take a fresh look at perennial questions โ€“ what, if anything, can legitimate state exercises of coercive force? What is coercion in politics and law? โ€“ and essays that take a first or nearly first look at newer questions โ€“ may the state coercively hold certain terrorists indefinitely? Does the state coerce those seeking to join in same-sex marriage when it refuses to extend legal recognition to same-sex marriage? Can there be a just international order without some agency possessed of the final and rightful authority to coerce states? Leading scholars from philosophy, political science and law examine these and related questions shedding new light on an apparently inescapable feature of political and legal life: Coercion.

"The topic of coercion stands among the foundational concepts of political and legal philosophy, yet it is rarely scrutinized. This volume fills in the gap by providing an in-depth discussion of the nature and justification of coercion in matters ranging from state authority and democratic legitimacy to national security and human rights. Authored by an impressive group of philosophers and legal theorists, the chapters explore these vital issues from a wide variety of perspectives, with admirable clarity and sharply contested arguments. The book constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of the normative and institutional issues of coercion in both the domestic and international order."
Deen Chatterjee, University of Utah

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Religion - coercion - justice - law, legal right - legitimacy - political authority - politics - power - will

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Law - Political Science - Value Theory

Table of contents 

I. What is Coercion? Scott Anderson: Coercion as Enforcement. Burton Leiser: On Coercion. Joan McGregor McGregor: Undue Influence as Coercion. II. Coercion and the Liberal Democratic State. Alistair MacLeod: Coercion, Justice and Democracy. Walter Riker: Can State Coercion Be Legitimate? Christine Sistare: John Brown and Coercion Against the State. III. Coercion and Secondary or Power-Conferring Laws. Emily Gill: Coercion, Religious Neutrality, and the Case of Same-Sex Marriage. Ken Henley: The Cheshire Cat: Gay Marriage, Religion and Coercion by Exclusion. IV. Coercion and National Security. Don Scheid: A Case for Indefinite Detention of Key Terrorist Suspects. Wade Robison: The Great Right: Habeus Corpus. V. Coercion and the International Order. Steven Lee: Coercion Abroad for Justice and Democracy. Carol Gould: Transnational Power, Coercion and Democracy. Monica Hlavac: A Developmental Approach to Legitimacy of Global Governance Institutions. Bruce Landesman: Global Economic Justice, Partiality and Coercion. Helga Varden: International Political Obligations: The need for and structure of a legitimate cosmopolitan authority.

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