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Political Legitimacy What is legitimacy? Why is legitimacy important in establishing a stable society? How do regimes establish legitimacy? How do governments.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Legitimacy What is legitimacy? Why is legitimacy important in establishing a stable society? How do regimes establish legitimacy? How do governments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Legitimacy What is legitimacy? Why is legitimacy important in establishing a stable society? How do regimes establish legitimacy? How do governments gain legitimacy? How can regimes and governments lose legitimacy and what are the consequences?

2 Forms of Political Legitimacy Max Weber Traditional: weight of history Rational/legal: derived from principles, loyalty is to impersonal institutions  Generally, modernization is from traditional to rational/legal  Modernization theory; Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History” Charismatic: not popularity but super-human ability to lead/inspire loyalty: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Khomeini  Societies can move traditional/rational charismatic, but generally not traditional rational  John Schaar: “Humanly significant leadership”: Thatcher, Churchill

3 Resistance Resistance to the regime rare (collapse of Soviet states), better termed revolutions Other forms of resistance: Legitimacy of the political community: leaders should be drawn from their own community, incongruence in community- territory-government—Basque separatists, Palestinians, Kurds in Turkey and Iraq, Sikhs in India Legitimacy of policies: anti-war protesters, striking workers, “legitimate opposition” (?)‏

4 Revolution Rebellion: bread riots; the king's bad ministers Wars for Colonial Independence Karl Marx: base and superstructure Political revolution: transform political institutions/regimes (leave social and economic structures intact)‏ Economic revolution: agriculture, industrial, post- industrial--> “creative destruction” Social revolution: transform basic social relationships (including political and economic)‏

5 Modernization Theory Why do they resist the inevitable? Why do they reject higher standards of living, democracy, individualism, liberated women, civil rights and liberties...? Why do they hate our freedoms? Why don't they understand we want to help them? Why Shariah? Why Okonkwo?

6 When did the West become dominant? 1492? (516 years)‏ 1519? (489)‏ 1842? (166)‏ 1885? (123)‏ 1919? (89)‏ 1991? (17)‏

7 Cycling Mexico: Aztec empire about 200 years Nigeria: Kingdom of Benin about 500 years, Kingdom of Nri (Igbo) about 1000 years Russia: Kievan Rus (980) – Soviet Union (1991), 1000 years Iran: Persian Empire (728 BC-651 AD): China: Imperial China (221 BC AD): 2100+

8 Whig History “Everything that flowed from the Whig victory of limited government, the Bank of England, tradable national debt, triennial Parliaments, mercantilism, free enterprise, an aggressively anti- French foreign policy, the union with Scotland, eventually the Hanoverian Succession and the Industrial Revolution--combined to make the English-speaking peoples powerful. Mr. Barone proves beyond doubt how much the Glorious Revolution inspired the Founding Fathers to launch their own, with Virginia gentlemen farmers seeing themselves as the heirs of England's revolutionary aristocrats. The 1689 Bill of Rights in Britain thus unquestionably paved the way to the American Bill of Rights of To comprehend how America's birth pangs came about--and why its title deeds were drawn up in the way they were--it is therefore crucial to understand the ideals and passions of ” Andrew Roberts, review “Our First Revolution,” in Wall Street Journal, 29 May 2007

9 Comparative Structural Analysis US, M, NBritainChinaRussiaIran Presidential, Federal, Bicameral US: Liberal demo'y Mexico + Nigeria: failing demo'y Parli’y, Unitary (devolution), Bicameral Liberal Demo’y Unitary, Parli’y (one party dictatorship), unicameral Illiberal Dual executive (Putin PM); Federal (unitary); Bicameral; Illiberal Presidential (dual executive), Unitary, Unicameral (theocracy); Illiberal


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