On March 9, 2018, GISME will host Stephen Galoob, associate professor of law at the University of Tulsa College of Law, for a discussion of his new co-authored paper titled "Injustice, Reparation, and Legitimacy." 


Legitimate states have the right to rule over specific people and territory. This right to rule is not immutable, however. A state’s wrongdoing can undermine its legitimacy. Likewise, acts of reparation can bolster a state’s legitimacy. A theory of legitimacy that cannot account for these effects of injustice and reparation is inadequate. Yet explaining these effects is surprisingly difficult for many theories of political legitimacy. We demonstrate this task by analyzing A. John Simmons’s voluntarist theory of legitimacy. We show that Simmons’s voluntarist theory cannot satisfactorily explain the effects of injustice and reparation, then identify four ways that other theories of legitimacy might explain the effects. We conclude by highlighting some broader implications of our analysis for theorizing political legitimacy.

The workshop will be held on March 9, 2018, in the Rafik B. Hariri Building, Room 570, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and lunch will be provided.

Download Paper: Injustice, Reparation, and Legitimacy