Legitimacy of Governments in the Age of Democracy
42 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2008
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: Legitimacy, Democracy, International Law, Recognition, Accreditation, State, Government
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