Problem of Political Obligation - A Critique of Liberal Theoryby Carole Pateman
It is usually taken for granted that, in liberal democracies, a bond of political ‘obligation’ exists between citizens and the state. The substantive, and controversial, argument of this book is that political obligation constitutes an insoluble problem in the liberal democratic state. It is argued that the problem can be solved only within the context of a participatory democratic system. In reaching this conclusion Carole Pateman offers a general assessment of liberal theory and an interpretation of all the familiar arguments about political obligation and democratic consent. Current controversies about ‘democracy’ and political obligation are fully discussed in the light of both philosophical debate and empirical evidence from research in the social sciences. The Problem of Political Obligation was first published in 1979. This new edition retains the original text but includes a substantial new chapter which clarifies further the central themes of the work.
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