chapter  3
Consent and Democracy
WithJean Hampton
Pages 48

This chapter explores the ideas that Hobbes, Locke, and Aristotle suggest and the tools of modern social science to help develop a new and better kind of consent-based theory. It presents the nature of the problems facing people in any "state of nature" where there is no political authority. The chapter details a model explaining how political authority is created. This model is not meant to be a detailed historical account of actual state creation: Histories are complicated, messy, and full of irrelevant contingencies. The chapter explores to clarify what is involved in a subject's consenting activity, resulting in a governing convention; then, as show, we can use this model to understand the dynamics of actual histories of state creation. One of the advantages of the convention model is that it enables us to understand the distinctive structure of modern democracies.