•  137
    Law and Morality at War offers a broadly instrumentalist defense of the authority of the laws of war: these laws serve combatants by helping them come closer to doing what they have independent moral reason to do. We argue that this form of justification sets too low a bar. An authority’s directives are not binding, on instrumental grounds, if the subject could, within certain limits, adopt an alternative, and superior, means of conforming to morality’s demands. It emerges that Haque’s argument …Read more
  •  280
    Democratic Equality and Political Authority
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4): 337-375. 2014.
    This essay seeks to provide a justification for the ‘egalitarian authority claim’, according to which citizens of democratic states have a moral duty to obey (at least some) democratically made laws because they are the outcome of an egalitarian procedure. It begins by considering two prominent arguments that link democratic authority to a concern for equality. Both are ultimately unsuccessful; but their failures are instructive, and help identify the conditions that a plausible defense of the e…Read more
  •  276
    Debate: Procedure and Outcome in the Justification of Authority
    Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2): 248-259. 2011.
    Why should one person obey another? Why (to ask the question from the first-person perspective) ought I to submit to another and follow her judgment rather than my own? In modern political thought, which denies that some are born rulers and others are born to be ruled, the most prominent answer has been: “Because I have consented to her authority.” By making authority conditional on the subjects’ consent, political philosophers have sought to reconcile authority’s hierarchical structure with the…Read more
  •  181
    Authority and Expertise
    Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (4): 406-426. 2016.
    Call “epistocracy” a political regime in which the experts, those who know best, rule; and call “the epistocratic claim” the assertion that the experts’ superior knowledge or reliability is “a warrant for their having political authority over others.” Most of us oppose epistocracy and think the epistocratic claim is false. But why is it mistaken? Contemporary discussions of this question focus on two answers. According to the first, expertise could, in principle, be a warrant for authority. What…Read more
  •  118
    The Right against Interference: Human Rights and Legitimate Authority
    Law and Ethics of Human Rights 7 (1): 25-46. 2013.
    Among the functions of state borders is to delineate a domain within which outsiders may normally not interfere. But the human rights practice that has sprung up in recent decades has imposed significant limits on a state’s right against interference. This article considers the connection between human rights on the one hand and justified interference in the internal affairs of states on the other. States, this article argues, have a right against interference if and because they serve their sub…Read more
  •  49
    Roundtable on Epistemic Democracy and Its Critics
    Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (2): 137-170. 2016.
    On September 3, 2015, the Political Epistemology/ideas, Knowledge, and Politics section of the American Political Science Association sponsored a roundtable on epistemic democracy as part of the APSA’s annual meetings. Chairing the roundtable was Daniel Viehoff, Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield. The other participants were Jack Knight, Department of Political Science and the Law School, Duke University; Hélène Landemore, Department of Political Science, Yale University; and Nadi…Read more
  •  71
    XIV—The Truth in Political Instrumentalism
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3): 273-295. 2017.
    How can one person’s having political power over another be justified? This essay explores the idea that such justifications must be in an important sense derivative, and that this ‘Derivative Justification Constraint’ bars certain justifications widely endorsed in political and philosophical debates. After critically discussing the most prominent extant articulations of the Constraint (associated with a view often called ‘political instrumentalism’), the essay offers a novel account of what pre…Read more