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Investigating the role of legitimacy in the political order of conflict-torn spaces

Weigand, Florian (2015) Investigating the role of legitimacy in the political order of conflict-torn spaces. Working papers, 04/15 (SiT/WP/04/15). Security in Transition, LSE, London, UK.

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Conflict-affected spaces that are far from exhibiting a Weberian monopoly of the legitimate use of force have been categorised as ‘fragile’ and ‘failed’ states for years. However, there is a growing tendency to understand conflicts as a form of order and to adapt the definition of statehood accordingly. But while the post-Weberian approaches indeed help to overcome some of the flaws of the dominant understanding of statehood, they do not substantively consider the role of legitimacy. The statebuilding discourse illustrates the problematic implications of the limited understanding of legitimacy on the policy level. In response, this paper suggests in line with post-Weberian scholars to understand political order as a field with multiple authorities but to consider both force and legitimacy as sources underpinning obedience to social control. An analytical framework is developed that acknowledges multiple dimensions of legitimacy as well as its dynamics. This framework may help to analyse legitimacy in empirical cases to inductively advance the theoretical understanding of legitimacy and to enable statebuilding which strengthens those authorities and institutions that are actually considered to be legitimate.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 10:39
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2019 00:47

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