Political Legitimacy

Political legitimacy concerns the foundation and preservation of authority prevalent in the operations of government and organizations. Consent of the governed exists in accordance with the degree of legitimacy established by a popular or coerced mandate. The relationship between the leaders and the led can shift immeasurably in relation to events, perceptions, and preferences generating a crisis or revival in legitimacy.

In a political context, elected government requires its citizens to limit direct democracy and transfer authority to the representative model. In a theocracy, political leaders look to a deity as the source of legitimacy. In the hereditary monarchy, a legitimate king or queen is a person with a certain parentage. In authoritarian systems, legitimacy is enforced through the support of the military. In his famous ...

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