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The dynamics of legitimation - Why the study of political legitimacy needs more realism

Daniel Gaus

No 15, RECON Online Working Papers Series from RECON

Abstract: The paper suggests a practice turn in the analysis of political legitimacy. Current social science research on political legitimacy suffers twofold. First, it shows an undue (silent) impact of an ethics-first perspective. Second, empirical approaches to political legitimacy mostly focus on societal constellations of citizens’ beliefs. The dynamic character of political legitimacy as a concept referring to an ongoing societal practice of legitimation is missed. Understanding legitimacy in terms of legitimation practice suggests a broadened research agenda that a) reserves a greater role to hermeneutical approaches and that b) acknowledges the systematic relation of political theory, the sociology of knowledge and the history of ideas in that matter.

Keywords: democracy; legitimacy; methodological issues; political science; normative political theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-05-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-hpe and nep-pol
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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