Empirically, there are many types of justification of political loyalty. Political theory helps one think about the most popular and empirically effective conceptions more consistently. To achieve this, the essay is structured around three main questions that will be asked of six typical strategies of justification. First, how strong is the political obligation that the political community can expect from its citizens? Second, how is political obligation related to other duties and obligations? The third question is to what degree can it be extended over to other citizens? The six justifications to be considered are the following: (1) conflict resolution, (2) mutual advantages, (3) natural or identity-based bonds, (4) a universal moral-political ideal, (5) participation (republicanism), and (6) mission. Political philosophers and citizens with strong political preferences will see how and to what extent their preferences are reconcilable with one or more of these strategies of justifying political obligation.
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