Consent of the Governed

The consent of the governed is the concept that a government must have the consent of the population to exercise its authority. According to this principle, the government has no legal or moral right to perform actions which have not been approved (typically through legal documentation) by the citizens of the society. Essentially, requiring the consent of the governed is a means of controlling governmental power. However, once a government’s authority has been established and approved by the citizens, the government is free to act in accordance with this agreement. Typically, achieving the consent of the governed does not require unanimous consent among the citizens; consent of a significant majority of the citizens is usually sufficient.

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