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Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy

Stemplowska, Z; Swift, A; (2018) Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy. In: Sobel, D and Vallentyne, P and Wall, S, (eds.) Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. (pp. 3-27). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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The chapter considers the contributions made by democratic legitimacy and social justice to the question of what may permissibly be enforced. According to the conventional view, democratic decisions forfeit their claim to permissible enforceability only when they are gravely unjust. That view is rejected here as unduly restrictive, with a “balancing” view proposed instead, according to which the two considerations need to be balanced on a case-by-case basis. Both the provenance and the content of decisions yield pro tanto reasons: which determines the permissibility of enforcement depends on whether we have greater reason in any given case to advance legitimacy or justice. A democratically legitimate law or policy need not be gravely unjust for it to be wrong to enforce it.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy
ISBN-13: 9780198813989
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813972.003.0001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198813972.003.0001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: democracy, legitimacy, justice, enforceability, injustice, social equality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062137
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