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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Legitimation of Power

Edition 2nd Edition
ISBN 9780230279728
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Political Analysis

The new edition of this classic text provides a comprehensive introduction to the concept of legitimacy as applied to political systems. Now addressing the issue of legitimacy beyond the state, the book also includes a new introduction and two major additional chapters which update the argument in the light of developments and debates.

David Beetham is Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Leeds, UK.

Preface to the 2nd edition.- Preface to the 1st edition.- Introduction.- PART I: THE CRITERIA FOR LEGITIMACY.- 1. Towards a Social-Scientific Concept of Legitimacy.- 2. Power and its need of Legitimation.- 3. The Intellectual Structure of Legitimacy.- 4. Social Science and the Social Construction of Legitimacy.- PART II: LEGITIMACY IN THE MODERN STATE.- 5. Dimensions of State Legitimacy.- 6. Crisis Tendencies of Political Systems.-7. Modes of Non-Legitimate Power.- 8. Legitimacy in Political Science and Political Philosophy.- 9. The Legitimation of Power in the 21st Century.- PART III: LEGITIMACY IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY.- 10. Legitimacy Within the State.- 11. Legitimacy Beyond the State.


By far the best account of legitimacy available. This is a welcome new edition of the book that displaced the work of Max Weber to become the definitive treatment of a concept that stands at the centre of social life and politics everywhere.' - Bruce Gilley, Portland State University, USA'No better analysis exists of the factors that combine to render power being seen as rightful. David Beetham, uniting the skills of social scientist and political philosopher, brings unusual clarity and depth to this ancient question. He has updated the examination of how different political systems answer it and, in two stimulating new chapters, further sharpens the analysis and applies it beyond and below the level of the state.' - Steven Lukes, New York University, USA
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