In this essay, I evaluate Philip Pettit’s theory of republican political legitimacy and maintain that it fails to provide a more satisfactory account of legitimacy than consent-based theories. I advance two interrelated theses. First, I argue that in so far as Pettit successfully narrows the scope that his theory of political legitimacy has to address, his arguments could be adapted to support consent-based theories. Second, I argue that Pettit’s theory fails to satisfy the high standards it sets for itself and is thus unsuccessful. My critique focuses on Pettit’s notions of historical, political and normative necessity, before evaluating whether his requirement of equally individualised popular control of government should be endorsed.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy|
|Early online date||12 May 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- Philip Pettit