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Response to azurnoir (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 04:05 PM

13. You need a hyphen: de-legitimization, to make spellcheck happy.

I would think if refers to a reduction in legitimacy.
In political science, legitimacy is the popular acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a régime. Whereas “authority” denotes a specific position in an established government, the term “legitimacy” denotes a system of government — wherein “government” denotes “sphere of influence”. Political legitimacy is considered a basic condition for governing, without which a government will suffer legislative deadlock(s) and collapse. In political systems where this is not the case, unpopular régimes survive because they are considered legitimate by a small, influential élite. In moral philosophy, the term “legitimacy” often is positively interpreted as the normative status conferred by a governed people upon their governors’ institutions, offices, and actions, based upon the belief that their government's actions are appropriate uses of power by a legally constituted government. In law, “legitimacy” is distinguished from “legality” (see colour of law), to establish that a government action can be legal whilst not being legitimate, e.g. the Southeast Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408 (The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution), which allowed the U.S. to war against Vietnam, without a formal declaration of war; a government action can be legitimate without being legal, e.g. a pre-emptive war, a military junta. An example of such matters arises when legitimate institutions clash in a constitutional crisis.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legitimacy_%28political%29

Note that it is a term applied to particular governments, not necesssarily to the nation itself, you can change from a illegitimate government to a legitimate one and still be the same country, and legitimate governments can become illegitimate through their own actions, as here in the USA.

Thus for example, one-staters are also de-legitimizers of the current Israeli government. I usually think of it as a measure of a government's expectation of being voluntarily obeyed by its citizens, and other forms of voluntarily support, thus it cannot be coerced. For example the US government has lost a lot of legitimacy in the last ten/twelve years. What I find funny is that such governments almost never reform, they almost always double down.

Edit: for example, as a government becomes less legitimate, you will see it rely more and more on fear and coercion and less and less on appeals to public spirit and pulling together for the common good, a contrast that is most striking in this country over the course of my lifetime.

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