chapter  4
35 Pages


Liberal theorists often explain the State with reference to state of nature. For instance, within the Hobbesian tradition there is a stark choice between a state of nature in which a war of all against all prevails and a peaceful society where the peace is enforced by a State which acts in the interest of all. The legitimacy of the State derives from the fact that people who would otherwise live in Hobbes’s state of nature (in which life is ‘brutish, nasty and short’) can clearly see the advantages of creating a State. Even if a State had not surfaced historically for all sorts of other reasons, it would have to be invented.