Political Legitimization without Morality?

  • Jörg Kühnelt

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VIII
  2. State Legitimacy and the Role of Morality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jörg Kühnelt
      Pages 1-12
  3. How Necessary is Morality to Legitimize a State?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Christopher Morris
      Pages 15-32
    3. Wilfried Hinsch
      Pages 39-52
    4. Frank Dietrich
      Pages 59-70
  4. Which Role can Rationality Play for State Legitimacy?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Rafaela Hillerbrand
      Pages 91-97
    3. Matthias Kaufmann
      Pages 99-112
    4. Stephan Schlothfeldt
      Pages 113-117
  5. How to Ensure the Stability of a Legitimate State?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Philip Pettit
      Pages 139-156
    3. Gottfried Seebaβ
      Pages 157-160
    4. Michael Baurmann
      Pages 161-180
    5. Christoph Schmidt-Petri
      Pages 181-186
    6. Russell Hardin
      Pages 187-198
    7. Julius Schäike
      Pages 199-203
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 205-208

About this book


The initial idea for this anthology arose during my work at the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 485 Norm and Symbol at the University of Konstanz. My research project on the potential of Hobbesian contract theory was in?uenced by the focus of the SFB on social phenomena such as pluralism and cultural change. In this context, I realized that the Hobbesian idea to refer only to instrumental rationality and basic egoistic interests to legitimize a state has, on one hand some advantages for pluralistic societies: All individuals are supposed to share these premises independent of the personal values they might hold. On the other hand, a rational legitimization must cope with the fundamental problem of explaining and legitimizing those tasks of legal states that go beyond the idea of a minimal state. Although my research was focused on the idea of solving this problem with a modi?cation of the Hobbesian argument, I became interested in the more general question of which role morality could or should play in legitimizing a state. Within the current discussion, not only rational but also political accounts of legitimacy can be attractive as soon as they try to avoid contentious normative premises. To analyse some of the core ideas within the current discussion, I - ganized an interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Konstanz in December 2004 in which different perspectives from sociology, politics and philosophy were compared and analysed.


Legitimacy Political philosophy Rationality Stability morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Jörg Kühnelt
    • 1
  1. 1.90425 NürnbergGermany

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