Although states may enjoy a monopoly of coercive power, they seldom remain in existence through the exercise of force alone. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau put it, ‘the strongest is never strong enough unless he turns might into right and obedience into duty’. this is why all systems of rule seek legitimacy or ‘rightfulness’, allowing them to demand compliance from their citizens or subjects. Legitimacy is thus the key to political stability; it is nothing less than the source of a regime’s survival and success. in modern politics, debates about legitimacy are dominated by the issue of democracy, so much so that ‘democratic legitimacy’ is sometimes viewed as the only meaningful form of legitimacy.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Democracy and Legitimacy
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- CHAPTER 4