Monday, 26 September 2011

Legitimacy; a definition

Recently I've been catching up with Joseph Stromberg's worthy oeuvre, such as YouTube lectures, and various essays and articles, some of which can be found here and here.

From an article on Iraq, focusing on the British mandate period, I liked this line on state 'legitimacy':

Established states resort to fairly small amounts of internal violence precisely because they already killed, burned, and pillaged enough to make their point one or two centuries ago. This is what is called "legitimacy."

1 comment:

will said...

I remember Obama saying that gadafi had lost legitimacy because he resorted to violence to maintain rule. Made me chuckle into my twirly anarchist moustache.
As explained by the quote above - there is only superficial difference in their legitimacy. The difference being that the crude openly violet phase of power is history in the more developed statism of the west. They've developed it to such an extent that the slaves love big brother.