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Legitimacy and Political Obligation


Admission requirements



This course aims to acquaint the student with major approaches to the related issues of political legitimacy and political obligation. The logic of theories of philosophical anarchism, consent theory, principles and fair play will be traced by the analysis of the most important texts (both historical and contemporary) in the field. The course is also the first step to the formulation of a research proposal for the thesis seminar on Political Legitimacy and Justice.

Course objectives

  • Systematic overview of the field

  • Conceptual analysis

  • Textual analysis

  • Argumentative skills necessary for arguing a position in the field.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load: 280 hours, of which

  • Contact hours: 32

  • Studying literature: 124 hours

  • Preparing for and writing final paper: 124 hours

Assessment method

Final paper

Re-take: thorough revision of final paper


Blackboard is used for logistic/organizational purposes

Reading list

  • S. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligations, Princeton University Press 1979

  • Assorted articles (to be announced)


See Preliminary Information