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Original scientific paper


Luka Ribarević ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Full text: croatian pdf 146 Kb

page 115-139

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In Hobbes’ Theory of Authorisation I it was shown how Hobbes, by means of
his theory of authorisation, managed to resolve the difficult points which, in
the previous formulations of his science of politics, weighed on the issue of
creation of the state conceived as a doubly impersonal apparatus relying on
the representative relation between the sovereign and the subjects. In this text
the author re-examines both the approach and the conclusion of his research
through critical inquiry into Quentin Skinner’s and Hanna Pitkin’s interpretations
of Hobbes’ understanding of representation. In his recent works, Skinner
attempted to demonstrate that it had to be interpreted, above all, as an instrument
in the ideological conflict between the republicans and the monarchists
in England in Hobbes’ time. Hanna Pitkin, in turn, brought into question the
representative character of sovereign power. As opposed to both of them, the
author expounds the thesis that, in order to be understood properly, the theory
of authorisation must be examined within the more comprehensive framework
of Hobbes’ science of politics and thus brought in connection with other
important elements of its problem-matter, such as the right to punish, the relation
between the sovereign’s rights and the subjects’ freedom, and the duties
of the sovereign. By interpreting the theory of authorisation primarily as
part of a system which is conditioned by and co-formative of the logic of the
study as a whole, this text strives to show that the authorisation-based relation
between the sovereign and the subjects, in spite of the fact that one-sided authorisation
on the part of the subjects established a sovereign who has no legal
obligations to them, is indeed determined by the logic of representation.


theory of authorisation; sovereignty; sovereign; subjects; power; might; state; Hobbes; Quentin Skinner; Hanna Pitkin; Jean Hampton

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