Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Stephen R. Perry


Political institutions and actors have a moral responsibility to secure the equal freedom of those subject to their rule. It is in virtue of that responsibility that political authorities can possess certain moral rights to rule. Here, I argue that such political authorities can possess moral rights to create and employ the positive law to secure equal freedom. In doing so, I will address a number of common problems that theories of political authority face, including the subjection problem, the problem of consent, and the particularity problem, among other things. I also present an account of the role that democracy can play in an adequately framed theory of legitimate political authority.

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