Political legitimacy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Political legitimacy is a virtue of political institutions and of the decisions—about laws, policies, and candidates for political office—made within them. This entry will survey the main answers that have been given to the following questions. First, how should legitimacy be defined? Is it primarily a descriptive or a normative concept? If legitimacy is understood normatively, what does it entail? Some associate legitimacy with the justification of coercive power and with the creation of political authority. Others associate it with the justification, or at least the sanctioning, of existing political authority. Authority stands for a right to rule—a right to issue commands and, possibly, to enforce these commands using coercive power. An additional question is whether legitimate political authority is understood to entail political obligations or not. Most people probably think it does. But some think that the moral obligation to obey political authority can be separated from an account of legitimate authority, or at least that such obligations arise only if further conditions hold.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,349

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Liberty's chains.Véronique Munoz-Dardé - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):161-196.
On the value of political legitimacy.Mathew Coakley - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (4):345-369.
Legitimacy is Not Authority.Jon Garthoff - 2010 - Law and Philosophy 29 (6):669-694.
Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists.Enzo Rossi - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (2):149-164.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-04-30

Downloads
496 (#36,245)

6 months
70 (#61,843)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Fabienne Peter
University of Warwick

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Justice as fairness: a restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

View all 123 references / Add more references