Exit, Voice, and Public Reason

Exit, Voice, and Public Reason

by Kevin Vallier, Bowling Green State University

Public reason liberals appeal to public deliberation to ensure that a legal order can be publicly justified to its citizens. I argue that this voice mechanism should be supplemented by exit mechanisms. By allowing citizens to exit legal orders they believe cannot be publicly justified, citizens can pressure states to change their laws. This exit pressure is sometimes more effective than deliberation. I explore federalism as an exit mechanism that can help public deliberation establish a publicly justified polity.

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American Political Science Review / Volume 112 / Issue 4 / November 2018

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