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Political Obligations provides a full defense of a theory of political obligation based on the principle of fairness (or fair play), which is widely viewed as the strongest theory of obligation currently available. The work responds to the most important objections to the principle of fairness, and extends a theory based on fairness into a developed 'multiple principle' theory of obligation. In order to establish the need for such a theory, Political Obligations criticizes alternative theories of obligation based on a natural duty of justice and 'reformist' consent, and critically examines the non-state theories of libertarian and philosophical anarchists. The work breaks new ground by providing the first in-depth study of popular attitudes towards political obligations and how the state itself views them. The attitudes of ordinary citizens are explored through small focus groups, while the 'self image of the state' in regard to the obligations of its citizens is studied through examination of judicial decisions in three different democratic countries.