The Problem of Liberal Political Legitimacy

  • David D. CoreyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism book series (PASTCL)


Michael Oakeshott worried that during his lifetime, liberal democracies had become dangerously oblivious to the problem of political legitimacy—the problem of ensuring that government power be used in ways that respect the freedom and political equality of all citizens. This essay deepens Oakeshott’s concern by arguing that there has never been a successful theoretical argument to establish why some citizens should be able to exercise political power over other citizens under conditions of freedom and political equality. The author concludes by considering the implications of this argument for the size and scope of liberal government today, particularly in the USA.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Honors ProgramBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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