Political Obligation: State-Centric or Multi-Level?
Klosko George . Why Should We Obey the Law? Cambridge, UK : Polity . 2019 . 140 pp., $12.95 paperback (ISBN: 978-1509521210). Matteo Bonotti Matteo Bonotti Monash University , Australia Search for other works by this author on: Oxford Academic Google Scholar International Studies Review, viab016, https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viab016 Published: 31 March 2021
Political obligation is a longstanding topic of debate in political theory. Do the citizens of a state have a moral duty to obey its laws, and, if so, on what grounds? Why Should We Obey the Law? contributes to this debate. It argues that, although theories of political obligation that focus on individual moral principles are not satisfactory, a multiple principle (MP) theory that combines the principles of “fair play,” “natural duty,” and “common good” (as well as their respective strengths) can successfully justify our moral duty to obey the law.
Before developing his MP theory, Klosko critically examines one of the most influential theories of political obligation in the history of political...