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Legitimacy of Governments in the Age of Democracy

Jean d'Aspremont

University of Manchester - School of Law; University of Amsterdam


New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 38, 2006

The criteria to assess the legitimacy of governments that have been developed by mainstream legal scholarship are overly simplistic and fail to address the situation of illiberal democracies. Indeed, illiberal democracies are endowed with some democratic features, as their governments have usually gone through an electoral process. They can thus claim some form of legitimacy. They cannot, however, be considered wholly legitimate given their disrespect for some of the substantive elements of democracy. In this paper, I offer a more elaborate understanding of the legitimacy of governments in order to deal with the rise of illiberal democracies. I argue that a distinction must be drawn between the legitimacy of origin and the legitimacy of exercise.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Legitimacy, Democracy, International Law, Recognition, Accreditation, State, Government

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Date posted: September 9, 2008  

Suggested Citation

d'Aspremont, Jean, Legitimacy of Governments in the Age of Democracy (2006). New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 38, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1265527

Contact Information

Jean D'Aspremont (Contact Author)
University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M139PL
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Jean.daspremont/
University of Amsterdam ( email )
Amsterdam Centre for International Law
P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/j.daspremont/
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