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Justifying the state from rights-based libertarian premises
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2016 (English)In: Libertarian Papers, ISSN 1947-6949, Vol. 8, no 1, 59-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although many libertarians share similar moral foundations, they disagree about whether the state can be justified. The most famous libertarian attempt to justify the state is that of Robert Nozick. This attempt has been criticized by, among others, the libertarian anarchist Murray Rothbard. In this article, Nozick’s theory and Rothbard’s critique are discussed, as well as some other attempts to justify the state from libertarian premises. Keeping the criticisms of those theories in mind, an alternative theory, which attempts to bypass the criticisms, is put forward. This alternative theory explains how a state—most probably a nonminimal democratic state—can legitimately be formed in a condition of anarchy without violating anyone’s libertarian rights. One result of this is that the rights-based case for minarchism is severely weakened.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 8, no 1, 59-79 p.
Keyword [en]
Robert Nozick, Murray Rothbard, John Locke, natural rights, state justification, democracy, state of nature, minarchism
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Philosophy
Research subject
Political Science; Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-127715DiVA: diva2:910850
Available from: 2016-03-10 Created: 2016-03-10 Last updated: 2016-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, J. Mikael
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