IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/harjfk/rwp12-042.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

All Foundings Are Forced

Author

Listed:
  • Applbaum, Arthur Isak

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Days after the beginning of the Libyan uprising in February 2011, a self-appointed group of human rights lawyers and defectors from Qaddafi's regime announced the formation of the Transitional National Council and declared itself "the only legitimate body representing the people of Libya and the Libyan state." Five days later, France recognized the Transitional National Council as "the legitimate representative of the Libyan people." What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for the normative success of such a claim to political legitimacy? This article argues that A legitimately governs B only when A governs B in such a way that both A and B remain free moral agents over time. This is so only when A's governance of B realizes and protects B's freedom over time, and this in turn is so only when A is a free group agent that counts a free B as a member. Three ways of constituting a free group agent are explored: constitution through shared aims, through representation, and through procedure. Three ways of conscripting free members to a group agent are explored: conscription through consent, through fair play, and through practical necessity. The progress of a stylized Libyan revolution is traced through the resulting nine ways of constituting group agents and conscripting to it members. The conclusion: though no assertion of political legitimacy is self-enacting, some assertions of political legitimacy can be self-fulfilling.

Suggested Citation

  • Applbaum, Arthur Isak, 2012. "All Foundings Are Forced," Working Paper Series rwp12-042, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-042
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8582&type=WPN
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-042. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ksharus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.