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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.195) 10 Conclusion
Political Legitimacy and the State

Rodney Barker

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides general conclusions on the study of legitimacy: firstly, a non-normative, descriptive or taxonomic account of legitimacy is worthwhile; secondly, there is a point in separating, analytically, political legitimacy from other kinds of authority; thirdly, some explanatory questions about legitimacy can be misplaced, in that the relationship between legitimacy and other features of government is organic rather than mechanical; fourthly, legitimacy is not a relationship spread evenly and uniformly between the state on the one hand and the mass of its subjects on the other; and finally, the paradox of the state is that the chief threat to legitimate obedience can come from the state itself or from its leaders.

Keywords:   legitimacy, government, state, subjects, legitimate obedience, obedience

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