The Sovereignless State and Locke's Language of Obligation

  title={The Sovereignless State and Locke's Language of Obligation},
  author={John T. Scott},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={547 - 561}
  • John T. Scott
  • Published 1 September 2000
  • Law
  • American Political Science Review
Modern liberal states are founded on individual rights and popular sovereignty. These doctrines are conceptually and historically intertwined but are in theoretical and practical tension. Locke's political theory is a source for proponents of both doctrines, and the same tension that runs through modern liberal thought and practice can be found in his theory. Rather than define the state in terms of a single sovereign authority, Locke constructs a sovereignless commonwealth with several… 

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