Most legal and political philosophers agree that typical legal systems are coercive. But there is no extant account of what typically makes typical legal systems coercive when they are coercive. This paper presents such an account and compares it with four alternative views. Towards the end I discuss the proposed account’s payoffs. Among other things, I show how it can help us explain what I call ‘comparative judgements’ about coercive legal systems (judgements such as ‘Legal system a is more coercive than legal system b’) and how it can help the development of social scientific inquiries into the coerciveness of our legal systems.
- legal philosophy
- general jurisprudence
- analytical jurisprudence
- coerciveness of legal systems
- analytische Rechtswissenschaft
- Zwanghaftigkeit des Rechtssystems