Cover: Against Obligation: The Multiple Sources of Authority in a Liberal Democracy, from Harvard University PressCover: Against Obligation in HARDCOVER

Against Obligation

The Multiple Sources of Authority in a Liberal Democracy

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Product Details


$57.00 • £45.95 • €51.50

ISBN 9780674064416

Publication Date: 04/25/2012


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


  • Introduction
    • The Case against Fidelity to Law, for Citizens and for Officials
    • A Roadmap and Some Baselines for Discussion
    • The Multiple Sources of Citizens’ Obligations
    • The Relationship between Obligation and Legitimacy
  • 1. Against Political Obligation
    • Consent, Fair Play, and Political Participation
    • Natural Duty and Associative Obligation
    • Systemic Stability
  • 2. Accommodating Our Plural Obligations
    • Exiting from the Law
    • Permeable Sovereignty and the Religion Clauses
    • The Problem of Illiberal Groups
  • 3. Against Interpretive Obligation to the Past
    • The Authority of Constitutional Creators, and Readers
    • Debunking Prior Authority
    • The Proper Role of Fit in Constitutional Interpretation
    • Why My Jeffersonian Position Is neither Anti-Law nor Anti-Constitutionalism
  • 4. Against Interpretive Obligation to the Supreme Court
    • The Role of the Supreme Court in Settling Constitutional Issues
    • Interpretive Pluralism
    • Guidelines for Officials in Deciding Whether to Follow the Court
    • The Court’s Response to Interpretive Challenge
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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