We the people : Is the polity the state?

Journal article


Collins, Stephanie and Lawford-Smith, Holly. (2021). We the people : Is the polity the state? Journal of the American Philosophical Association. 7(1), pp. 78-97. https://doi.org/10.1017/apa.2020.15
AuthorsCollins, Stephanie and Lawford-Smith, Holly
Abstract

When a liberal-democratic state signs a treaty or wages a war, does its whole polity do those things? In this article, we approach this question via the recent social ontological literature on collective agency. We provide arguments that it does and that it does not. The arguments are presented via three considerations: the polity's control over what the state does; the polity's unity; and the influence of individual polity members. We suggest that the answer to our question differs for different liberal-democratic states and depends on two underlying considerations: (1) the amount of discretion held by the state's officeholders; (2) the extent to which the democratic procedure is deliberative rather than aggregative.

Keywordscollective intentions; group action; agency; ontology; group agency
Year2021
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Journal citation7 (1), pp. 78-97
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN2053-4477
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/apa.2020.15
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85103622854
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range78-97
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Aug 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/DE200101413
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8w74w/we-the-people-is-the-polity-the-state

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