The Status Quo in Contractarian-Constitutionalist Perspective
That it favors the status quo is one of the most common and persistent objections raised against the contractarian-constitutionalist approach and, specifically, against its emphasis on voluntary agreement as the fundamental legitimizing principle for social reform. This paper seeks to clarify certain ambiguities that have surrounded the arguments of critics as well as contractarian responses to them. Its main emphasis will be on separating two issues the differences between which have not always been sufficiently recognized in the debate, namely, on the one hand, the role of the status quo as the inevitable starting point of any change and, on the other hand, the issue of the normative evaluation of the status quo.
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