While much has been written on both political obligation and the justification of punishment, there has been little sustained effort to link the two.
In Playing Fair, Richard Dagger aims to fill this gap and provide a unified theory of political obligation and the justification of punishment that takes its bearings from the principle of fair play. To do this, he first establishes the principle of fair playthe idea that people in a cooperative venture have obligations to one another to shoulder a fair share of the burdens because they receive a fair share of the benefits of cooperationas the basis of political obligation. Dagger
then argues that the members of a reasonably just polity have an obligation to obey its laws because they have an obligation of reciprocity, or fair play, to one another. This theory of political obligation provides answers to fundamental and still debated questions about how to justify punishment, who has the
right to carry it out, and how much to punish.
Playing Fair brings two long-standing concerns of political and legal philosophy together to rebut those who deny the possibility of a general obligation to obey the law, to defend the link between political authority and obligation, and to establish the proper scope of criminal law.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 562 g
Dimensions: 243 x 163 x 28 mm
Do we have a duty to obey the law?' and What gives us the right to punish?' are two pressing yet seemingly separate questions. Richard Dagger connects them more clearly than anyone else has. Both are, he explains, a matter of fairness. Agree or not, after reading Dagger you will see these perennial questions in a fresh light. * William A. Edmundson, Georgia State University, and author of Three Anarchical Fallacies *
Richard Dagger, for the first time, presents both a theory of political obligation and a theory of punishment under the principle of fair play. Forceful arguments on the two subjects combine for a powerful overall theory. * George Klosko, Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics, University of Virginia *
Playing Fair expertly canvasses a number of debates on the justification of political obligation and the justification of punishment in order to develop a unified account of these two problems. Dagger's arguments are compelling and elegantly presented. This is a timely and important book. * Massimo Renzo, King's College London *