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Political Legitimacy and the State$
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Rodney Barker

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198274957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198274957.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Political Legitimacy and the State

Rodney Barker

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter focuses on the importance of studying political legitimacy. It also provides a brief overview of the concepts of legitimacy and legitimate authority and discusses three accounts of justifiable and justified obedience. Legitimacy, in so far as it sustains government, can involve both citizenship and subjection. A study of legitimacy provides an opportunity not only to distinguish between various relations of and within government. It can also be employed to examine the various conceptions of government and politics available within political science.

Keywords:   political legitimacy, legitimacy, legitimate authority, justifiable obedience, justified obedience, obedience, government, politics, political science

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