Download Legitimacy and Politics: A Contribution to the Study of by Jean-Marc Coicaud PDF

By Jean-Marc Coicaud

Situations of corruption, extremism, and public mistrust have more and more raised the query of political legitimacy in recent times. the writer examines the problem by means of taking a look at the stipulations worthwhile for a "rule of legislations" to exist. He argues that during a democracy the larger the powers given to a political chief, the better that leader's tasks towards society. as a way to get pleasure from legitimacy hence, our rulers needs to imagine those obligations and be held chargeable for them. This publication could be of curiosity to political and social theorists and political philosophers.

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Extra resources for Legitimacy and Politics: A Contribution to the Study of Political Right and Political Responsibility

Example text

As for Carl Schmitt’s theories, which are analysed as a prolongation of the path laid out by Max Weber, they offer a good illustration of the dangers to which one is exposed when one subjects law to the imperatives of politics. In any case, we shall see that the scientistic, Marxist, and Weberian orientations all share a nostalgia for the absolute. That nostalgia forbids them to pose the question of truth within history in a way that would allow them to think legitimacy in satisfactory terms. In opposition to these theories, it is emphasised in Chapter 5 that the exercise of the faculty of judgement in modernity – wherein the plural and shifting character of human reality and of the referential systems used to evaluate this reality occupy a place of key importance – necessitates a revision of our conception of history and of history’s relations with social and political theory.

And if one were to rank the terms to which political observers have recourse in their work, the word legitimacy would arrive in the top grouping. Only rarely do writings on this topic and observers of the political scene ignore this notion. On the other hand, the treatment of the concept of legitimacy often brings out a certain reticence. Although legitimacy is indissociable from the faculty of judgement, most works and reflections that make use of it are loath to take into account the dimension of judgement it implies.

To consent is to accept a situation that includes a measure of renunciation, which is manifested in the duty to obey. It is in this sense that the rights-based relationship between the governors and the governed can be perceived in terms of political authority. The question of legitimacy leads to the problem of authority because the latter is a relation of command– obedience. What distinguishes the latter from the bond of domination– submission, which rests solely upon the relation of forces among individuals or groups, lies in the fact that to command and to obey together imply consent.

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