•  3064
    Immigration and self-determination
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (3): 270-290. 2015.
    This article asks whether states have a right to close their borders because of their right to self-determination, as proposed recently by Christopher Wellman, Michael Walzer, and others. It asks the fundamental question whether self-determination can, in even its most unrestricted form, support the exclusion of immigrants. I argue that the answer is no. To show this, I construct three different ways in which one might use the idea of self-determination to justify immigration restrictions and sh…Read more
  •  1640
    Assessing Law's Claim to Authority
    Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 31 (3): 481-501. 2011.
    The idea that law claims authority (LCA) has recently been forcefully criticized by a number of authors. These authors present a new and intriguing objection, arguing that law cannot be said to claim authority if such a claim is not justified. That is, these authors argue that the view that law does not have authority viciously conflicts with the view that law claims authority. I will call this the normative critique of LCA. In this article, I assess the normative critique of LCA, focusing predo…Read more
  •  1468
    Locke on Territorial Rights
    Political Studies 63 (3): 713-728. 2015.
    Most treatments of territorial rights include a discussion (and rejection) of Locke. There is a remarkable consensus about what Locke’s views were. For him, states obtain territorial rights as the result of partial transfers of people’s property rights. In this article, I reject this reading. I argue that (a) for Locke, transfers of property rights were neither necessary nor sufficient for territorial rights and that (b) Locke in fact held a two-part theory of territorial rights. I support this …Read more
  •  715
    What counts as original appropriation?
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4): 355-373. 2009.
    I here defend historical entitlement theories of property rights against a popular charge. This is the objection that such theories fail because no convincing account of original appropriation exists. I argue that this argument assumes a certain reading of historical entitlement theory and I spell out an alternative reading against which it misfires. On this reading, the role of acts of original appropriation is not to justify but to individuate people’s holdings. I argue that we can identify wh…Read more
  •  489
    The Asymmetry of Legitimacy
    Law and Philosophy 31 (5): 565-592. 2012.
    State legitimacy is often said to have two aspects: an internal and an external one. Internally, a legitimate state has the right to rule over its subjects. Externally, it has a right that outsiders not interfere with its domestic governance. But what is the relation between these two aspects? In this paper, I defend a conception of legitimacy according to which these two aspects are related in an importantly asymmetrical manner. In particular, a legitimate state’s external right to rule affords…Read more
  •  433
    On legitimacy and authority: A response to krehoff
    Res Publica 14 (4): 299-302. 2008.
    In this paper I respond to Bernd Krehoff’s article ‘Legitimate Political Authority and Sovereignty: Why States Cannot Be the Whole Story’. I criticize Krehoff’s use of Raz’s theory of authority to evaluate the legitimacy of our political institutions. Krehoff argues that states cannot (always) claim exclusive authority and therefore cannot possess exclusive legitimacy. Although I agree with his conclusion, I argue that the questions of legitimacy and (Razian) authority are distinct and that we n…Read more
  •  190
    Associative Political Obligations
    Philosophy Compass 6 (7): 477-487. 2011.
    This article aims to provide some insight into the nature and content of the theory of associative political obligation. It does this by first locating the view in the wider debate on political obligation, analyzing the view in terms of four central elements that are shared by many of its versions, and then discussing important criticisms that have been made of each of these, as well as some rejoinders by defenders of the theory.
  •  92
    In defense of the ivory tower: Why philosophers should stay out of politics
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (7): 1045-1063. 2015.
    Many political theorists, philosophers, social scientists, and other academics engage in political activism. And many think this is how things ought to be. In this essay, I challenge the ideal of the politically engaged academic. I argue that, quite to the contrary, political theorists, philosophers, and other political thinkers have a prima facie duty to refrain from political activism. This argument is based on a commonsense moral principle, a claim about the point of political thought, and fi…Read more
  •  60
    The Morality of Humanitarian Intervention
    In Andrew I. Cohen & Christopher H. Wellman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 404-416. 2014.
  •  35
    Uncertain rights against defense
    Social Philosophy and Policy 32 (2): 129-145. 2016.
    :In this essay, I defend a theory of liability to defensive force. The theory contains two elements. The first is a dual Lockean-inspired condition. The second aims to make this first condition consistent with problems arising from uncertainty. Drawing on recent work by Michael Zimmerman, I argue that the rights-based condition should be made sensitive to the evidence available to defenders.
  •  32
    Economic Liberties and Human Rights (edited book)
    Routledge Press. 2019.
    The status of economic liberties remains a serious lacuna in the theory and practice of human rights. Should a minimally just society protect the freedoms to sell, save, profit and invest? Is being prohibited to run a business a human rights violation? While these liberties enjoy virtually no support from the existing philosophical theories of human rights and little protection by the international human rights law, they are of tremendous importance in the lives of individuals, and particularly …Read more
  •  29
    As Good As ‘Enough and As Good’
    Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1): 183-203. 2021.
    The Lockean theory of property licenses unilateral appropriation on the condition that there be ‘enough, and as good left in common for others’. However, the meaning of this proviso is all but clear. This article argues that the proviso is centered around the Lockean theory of freedom. To be free, I argue, we must be ‘non-subjected’ in the exercise of our rights, including our rights to appropriate. We enjoy such freedom only when the ability to exercise our rights does not depend on others. Tha…Read more
  •  19
    Academic Activism Revisited
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (2): 249-257. 2020.
    Academics are, or ought to be, engaged in an impartial search for the truth. Many academics also are, but ought not to be, engaged in political activism. I defend a moral duty for academics to refrain from such activism. Ben Jones’ article in this journal rejects such a duty. This article responds to his objections, thereby more carefully formulating when and why political activism is morally problematic, and what burdens it may imply.
  •  16
    Facts about Global Justice (review)
    Global Justice Theory Practice Rhetoric 7 67-74. 2014.
    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
  •  15
    Diversity or depoliticization?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38. 2015.
  •  14
    Property, the environment, and the Lockean Proviso
    Economics and Philosophy 1-18. forthcoming.
    It is common to posit a clear opposition between the values served by property systems and the value of the environment. To give the environment its due, this view holds, the role of private property needs to be limited. Support for this has been said to be found in Locke’s famous ‘enough and as good’ proviso. This article shows that this opposition is mistaken, and corrects the implied reading of Locke’s proviso. In reality, there is no opposition between property and the environment. This is s…Read more
  •  13
    Facts about Global Justice (review)
    Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 7 67-74. 2014.
    Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
  •  8
    Academic Activism Revisited
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (2): 249-257. 2020.
    Academics are, or ought to be, engaged in an impartial search for the truth. Many academics also are, but ought not to be, engaged in political activism. I defend a moral duty for academics to refrain from such activism. Ben Jones’ article in this journal rejects such a duty. This article responds to his objections, thereby more carefully formulating when and why political activism is morally problematic, and what burdens it may imply.
  •  5
    Political Philosophy as Love of Wisdom
    Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (1): 23-31. 2020.
    ABSTRACT The traditional view holds that political philosophy should aim at the truth. By contrast, Avner de Shalit argues that political philosophers should do something different. According to him, they should work in direct consultation with “the people” in order to think through their theories about political institutions. This article defends the traditional aim of truth-seeking and shows the mistakes in De Shalit’s alternative approach
  •  4
    The problem of self-ownership
    Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (2): 1-8. 2019.
  •  3
    The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (edited book)
    with Jason F. Brennan and David Schmidtz
    Routledge. 2017.
    Libertarians often bill their theory as an alternative to both the traditional Left and Right. _The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism_ helps readers fully examine this alternative, without preaching it to them, exploring the contours of libertarian thinking on justice, institutions, interpersonal ethics, government, and political economy. The 31 chapters--all written specifically for this volume--are organized into five parts. Part I asks, what should libertarianism learn from other theories …Read more
  •  2
    Debating Humanitarian Intervention Should We Try to Save Strangers?
    with Fernando R. Tesón
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    "The book offers contrasting views of humanitarian intervention - a war aimed at ending tyranny. Fernando Tesaon.
  • Facts about Global Justice
    Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 7. 2014.
    ReviewDaron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.