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Wrongful Benefits and Fair Play

Pasternak, A; (2017) Wrongful Benefits and Fair Play. Journal of Moral Philosophy , 14 (5) pp. 515-534. 10.1163/17455243-46810059. Green open access

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Abstract

According to the fair play defence of political obligations, citizens have a reciprocity-based duty to share in the costs involved in the production of public goods (e.g. the rule of law). But sometimes, states produce collective goods through wrongdoing. For example, sometimes, states' wrongful immigration policies contribute to the welfare of their own populations. Do citizens have duties of reciprocity for such wrongful benefits? I argue that the answer to this question is negative. Drawing on the observation that beneficiaries of wrongdoing incur compensatory duties to the victims of that wrongdoing, I argue that, rather than having a duty of reciprocity for wrongful benefits, citizens have a duty to disgorge the benefits in compensation. Furthermore, the fair play defence of political obligations entails that citizens can be justified in disobeying the law, in order to comply with their compensatory duties to victims of their state's wrongdoing.

Type: Article
Title: Wrongful Benefits and Fair Play
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/17455243-46810059
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/17455243-46810059
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: benefiting from wrongdoing; fair play; political disobedience; duty of resistance; political obligations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1503258
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