About the author: Dr. Swanson received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Missouri. He currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at Misericordia College, Dallas, PA.2001 0-7734-7476-5
The question of political legitimacy is a question concerning the justification of coercive political institutions. We recognize an obligation to obey political institutions given the satisfaction of certain conditions. This work examines these conditions by investigating the models of political legitimacy proposed by the classic social contract authors Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and extends the analysis to include the work of influential contemporary contract theorist John Rawls.