This book explains why citizens sometimes comply with and sometimes disobey the demands of democratic governments. It argues that citizens are more likely to comply and even give active consent when they perceive government as procedurally fair in both decisionmaking and implementation processes and when they believe other citizens are also doing their share. The author develops her argument by exploring over two hundred years of military service policies in six democratic countries.
"This book is an exemplary piece of political theory. The book should be mandatory reading for political theorists and philosophers who worry about consent, about democracy, about the motivating force of ethical commitments in politics, and about the logic of social explanation." James Johnson, Ethics "...Levi's study provides substantial and valuable information on the evolution of conscription policies and reactions to these policies in a number of interesting cases. Her model also provides a thought-provoking integration of the concept of fairness with more standard rational choice theory, contributing important insights to how democracy works." Deborah L. Norden, Political Science Quarterly "Levi astutely analyzes resistance to and compliance with calls to military service, a quintessential case in which individuals face the choice of bearing large costs on behalf of benefits they will share little difference. In the process, without ever quite saying so, she batters the postulate of universal self-interest that undergirds so much of rational choice argument in political science." Comparative Politics