What is it for a state, constitution or set of governmental institutions to have political legitimacy? This paper raises some doubts about two broadly liberal answers to this question, which can be labelled ?Kantian? and ?libertarian?. The argument focuses in particular on the relationship between legitimacy and principles of justice and on the place of consent. By contrast with these views, I suggest that, without endorsing the kind of voluntarist theory, according to which political legitimacy is simply created by individual consent, an adequate understanding of political legitimacy should take much more account than most philosophical theories tend to do of the attitudes and beliefs of citizens and the social and political context in which they have saliency. This also involves acknowledging the limits of theory in determining criteria of political legitimacy.
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2012.651015
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Rawls.Samuel Richard Freeman - 2007 - Routledge.
Realism in Political Theory.William A. Galston - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.

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Citations of this work BETA

Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
Realism Against Legitimacy.Samuel Bagg - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):29-60.
Political Legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Political Realism and Epistemic Constraints.Ugur Aytac - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):1-27.
Hobbes and Political Realism.Robin Douglass - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (2):250-269.

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