Advertisement

Theorizing the domestic legitimacy of using force

  • Yagil LevyEmail author
Original Article
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

The question of what constitutes the legitimacy of using force against an external adversary has become especially relevant since the wars that followed 9/11, and post-Cold War interventions in human crises. This article is conceptually motivated to bridging some of the scholarly gaps, mainly by developing a systematic methodological approach to analyzing how democratic governments try to establish domestic legitimacy for using force, defining that legitimacy and operationalizing it. Thereafter, it analyzes the two components of this legitimacy—the ingrained and the dynamic—and the interrelationships between them, thereby developing a framework for an empirical analysis of specific cases.

Keywords

Collective action Deliberative democracy Militarization Public opinion 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article was first presented at the meeting of the Research Committee on Armed Forces & Conflict Resolution of the International Sociological Association. I am grateful to the participants for their feedbacks. I would like to thank Bashir Bashir, Chiara Ruffa, David Rudin, Jennifer Welsh, Lars Christie, Martin Shaw, and the anonymous reviewer of International Politics for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article. I gratefully acknowledge permission from Stanford University Press to reproduce material published in my book Whose Life Is Worth More? Hierarchies of Risk and Death in Contemporary Wars (2019).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Arendt, Hannah. 1972. Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics, Civil Disobedience on Violence, Thoughts on Politics, and Revolution. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  2. Aylwin-Foster, Nigel. 2005. Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations. Military Review 85 (6): 2–15.Google Scholar
  3. Bacevich, Andrew J. 2005. The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Barker, Rodney. 1990. Political Legitimacy and the State. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beetham, David. 1991. Max Weber and the Legitimacy of the Modern State. Analyse & Kritik 13 (1): 34–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beetham, David. 2004. Political Legitimacy. In The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, ed. Kate Nash and Alan Scott, 107–116. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Benini, Aldo A., and Lawrence H. Moulton. 2004. Afghanistan Civilian Victims in an Asymmetrical Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom. Journal of Peace Research 41 (4): 403–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett, Huw. 2014. Enmeshed in Insurgency: Britain’s Protracted Retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan. Small Wars & Insurgencies 25 (3): 501–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berinsky, Adam J. 2007. Assuming the Costs of War: Events, Elites, and American Public Support for Military Conflict. Journal of Politics 69 (4): 975–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berndtsson, Joakim, Christopher Dandeker, and Karl Ydén. 2015. Swedish and British Public Opinion of the Armed Forces after a Decade of War. Armed Forces & Society 41 (2): 307–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bjola, Corneliu. 2008. Legitimacy and the Use of Force: Bridging the Analytical-Normative Divide. Review of International Studies 34 (4): 627–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bjola, Corneliu. 2009. Legitimising the Use of Force in International Politics: Kosovo, Iraq and the Ethics of Intervention. London: Routledge. Kindle.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchanan, Allen. 2004. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford Scholarship Online.Google Scholar
  14. Bukovansky, Mlada. 2007. Liberal States, International Order, and Legitimacy: An Appeal for Persuasion over Prescription. International Politics 44 (2–3): 175–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Burk, James. 2013. Introduction. In How 9/11 Changed Our Ways of War, ed. James Burk, 1–10. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Butler, Judith. 2004. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  17. Butler, Judith. 2009. Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  18. Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver, and Jaap de Wilde. 1998. Security—A New Framework for Analysis. London: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  19. Carter, Stephen L. 1984. The Constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution. Virginia Law Review 70 (1): 101–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Clark, Ian. 2005. Legitimacy in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Craig, Alan. 2013. International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security: The Strategic Deployment of Lawyers in the Israeli Military. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  22. Crawford, Neta C. 2013. Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America’s Post-9/11 Wars. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cusumano, Eugenio. 2016. Bridging the Gap: Mobilisation Constraints and Contractor Support to US and UK Military Operations. Journal of Strategic Studies 39 (1): 94–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dauber, Cori. 1998. The Practice of Argument: Reading the Condition of Civil-Military Relations. Armed Forces & Society 24 (3): 435–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Desch, Michael C. 2010. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Liberal Tradition and Obama’s Counterterrorism Policy. PS: Political Science & Politics 43 (3): 425–429.Google Scholar
  26. Dill, Janina. 2015. Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International Law and US Bombing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Douzinas, Costas. 2003. Humanity, Military Humanism and the New Moral Order. Economy and Society 32 (2): 159–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dryzek, John S. 2001. Legitimacy and Economy in Deliberative Democracy. Political Theory 29 (5): 651–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dunlap, Charles J. 2008. Lawfare Today: A Perspective. Yale Journal of International Affairs 3: 146–154.Google Scholar
  30. Everts, Philip. 2001. War Without Bloodshed? Public Opinion and the Conflict over Kosovo. In Public Opinion and the International Use of Force, ed. Philip Everts and Pierangelo Isernia, 222–252. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Everts, Philip. 2002. Democracy and Military Force. New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Feaver, Peter D. 2011. The Right to be Right: Civil-Military Relations and the Iraq Surge Decision. International Security 35 (4): 87–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Finnemore, Martha. 2005. Fights about Rules: The Role of Efficacy and Power in Changing Multilateralism. Review of International Studies 31 (1): 187–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Geis, Anna, and Christopher Hobson. 2014. The Existence and Use of ‘Evil’ in International Politics. International Politics 51 (4): 417–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Geis, Anna, and Harald Müller. 2013. Investigating ‘Democratic Wars’ as the Flipside of ‘Democratic Peace’. In The Militant Face of Democracy: Liberal Forces for Good, ed. Anna Geis, Harald Müller, and Niklas Schörnig, 3–23. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gilley, Bruce. 2006. The Meaning and Measure of State Legitimacy: Results for 72 Countries. European Journal of Political Research 45 (3): 499–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Giroux, Henry A. 2014. The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Publishers. Kindle.Google Scholar
  38. Habermas, Jurgen. 1992. Legitimation Crisis. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  39. Hayes, Jarrod. 2013. Constructing National Security: U.S. Relations with India and China. New York: Cambridge University Press. Kindle.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hirschman, Albert O. 1970. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Hoehn, Andrew R., and Sarah Harting. 2010. Risking NATO: Testing the Limits of the Alliance in Afghanistan. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  42. Horowitz, Michael C., and Matt S. Levendusky. 2011. Drafting Support for War: Conscription and Mass Support for Warfare. Journal of Politics 73 (2): 524–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Huntington, Samuel P. 1957. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  44. Hurd, Ian. 2007. Legitimacy. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Self-Determination. New Jersey: Princeton University. http://pesd.princeton.edu/?q=node/255. Accessed 9 Jan 2020.
  45. Huysmans, Jef. 2004. Minding Exceptions: The Politics of Insecurity and Liberal Democracy. Contemporary Political Theory 3 (3): 321–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hyde, Alan. 1983. The Concept of Legitimation in the Sociology of Law. Wisconsin Law Review 1983: 379–426.Google Scholar
  47. Independent International Commission on Kosovo. 2000. The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Inglehart, Ronald F., Bi Puranen, and Christian Welzel. 2015. Declining Willingness to Fight for One’s Country: The Individual-Level Basis of the Long Peace. Journal of Peace Research 52 (4): 418–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Isaac, Jeffrey C. 1987. Beyond the Three Faces of Power: A Realist Critique. Polity 20 (1): 4–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ish-Shalom, Piki. 2006. Theory as a Hermeneutical Mechanism: The Democratic-Peace Thesis and the Politics of Democratization. European Journal of International Relations 12 (4): 565–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Johnston, Alastair Iain. 1996. Cultural Realism and Strategy in Maoist China. In The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, ed. Peter J. Katzenstein, 216–268. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kasher, Asa, and Amos Yadlin. 2005. Military Ethics of Fighting Terror: An Israeli Perspective. Journal of Military Ethics 4 (1): 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kaufmann, Chaim. 2004. Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas: The Selling of the Iraq War. International Security 29 (1): 5–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kohn, Richard H. 1997. How Democracies Control the Military. Journal of Democracy 8 (4): 140–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Krebs, Ronald R. 2015. Narrative and the Making of US National Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Krebs, Ronald R., and Jennifer K. Lobasz. 2007. Fixing the Meaning of 9/11: Hegemony, Coercion, and the Road to War in Iraq. Security Studies 16 (3): 409–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kriner, Douglas L., and Graham Wilson. 2016. The Elasticity of Reality and British Support for the War in Afghanistan. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (3): 559–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lake, David. 1992. Powerful Pacifists: Democratic States and War. American Political Science Review 86 (1): 24–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Larson, Eric V., and Bogdan Savych. 2007. Misfortunes of War: Press and Public Reactions to Civilian Deaths in Wartime. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  60. Lebow, Richard Ned. 2005. Reason, Emotion and Cooperation. International Politics 42 (3): 283–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Levy, Yagil. 2016. What is Controlled by Civilian Control of the Military? Control of the Military vs. Control of Militarization. Armed Forces & Society 42 (1): 75–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Levy, Yagil. 2017. Control from Within: How Soldiers Control the Military. European Journal of International Relations 23 (1): 192–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Levy, Yagil. 2019. Whose Life is Worth More? Hierarchies of Risk and Death in Contemporary Wars. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Lustick, Ian S. 2008. Abandoning the Iron Wall: Israel and ‘the Middle Eastern Muck’. Middle East Policy 15 (3): 30–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Malešević, Siniša. 2010. The Sociology of War and Violence. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mann, Michael. 1987. The Roots and Contradictions of Modern Militarism. New Left Review 162 (1): 27–55.Google Scholar
  67. Mann, Michael. 1993. The Sources of Social Power: Vol. II, The Rise of Classes and Nation-States, 1760–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Mann, Michael. 2005. Incoherent Empire. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  69. Marullo, Sam, and David S. Meyer. 2004. Antiwar and Peace Movements. In The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, ed. David A. Snow, Sarah A. Soule, and Hanspeter Kriesi, 641–665. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  70. Mercer, Jonathan. 2014. Feeling Like a State: Social Emotion and Identity. International Theory 6 (3): 515–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Meyer, David S., and Debra C. Minkoff. 2004. Conceptualizing Political Opportunity. Social Forces 82 (4): 1457–1492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Miller, Richard B. 2000. Legitimation, Justification, and the Politics of Rescue. In Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions, ed. William Joseph Buckley, 384–398. Grand Rapids, MI: William Eerdmans.Google Scholar
  73. Morris, Justin, and Nicholas J. Wheeler. 2007. The Security Council’s Crisis of Legitimacy and the Use of Force. International Politics 44 (2–3): 214–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Owens, Patricia. 2003. Accidents Don’t Just Happen: The Liberal Politics of High-Technology ‘Humanitarian’ War. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 32 (3): 595–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Peters, Dirk, and Wolfgang Wagner. 2011. Between Military Efficiency and Democratic Legitimacy: Mapping Parliamentary War Powers in Contemporary Democracies, 1989–2004. Parliamentary Affairs 64 (1): 175–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Posen, Barry R. 1984. The Sources of Military Doctrine. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Ron, James. 2003. Frontiers and Ghettos: State Violence in Serbia and Israel. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Kindle.Google Scholar
  78. Reus-Smit, Christian. 2007. International Crises of Legitimacy. International Politics 44 (2–3): 157–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Ruffa, Chiara. 2018. Military Cultures in Peace and Stability Operations: Afghanistan and Lebanon. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Schmidt, Vivien A. 2010. Taking Ideas and Discourse Seriously: Explaining Change through Discursive Institutionalism as the Fourth ‘New Institutionalism’. European Political Science Review 2 (1): 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Shaw, Martin. 2005. The New Western Way of War: Risk-Transfer War and its Crisis in Iraq. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  82. Smith, Hugh. 2005a. What Costs Will Democracies Bear? A Review of Popular Theories of Casualty Aversion. Armed Forces & Society 31 (4): 487–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Smith, Philip Daniel. 2005b. Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sohnius, Stephanie. 2013. The United States: The American Way of Leading the World into Democratic Wars. In The Militant Face of Democracy: Liberal Forces for Good, ed. Anna Geis, Harald Müller, and Niklas Schörnig, 51–88. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Starr, Paul. 2010. Dodging a Bullet: Democracy’s Gains in Modern War. In In War’s Wake: International Conflict and the Fate of Liberal Democracy, ed. Elizabeth Kier and Ronald R. Krebs, 50–66. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Suchman, Mark C. 1995. Managing Legitimacy: Strategic and Institutional Approaches. Academy of Management Review 20 (3): 571–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tilly, Charles. 1992. Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1992. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  88. Toros, Harmonie, and Luca Mavelli. 2014. Collective Evil and Individual Pathology: The Depoliticization of Violence against Afghan Civilians. International Politics 51 (4): 508–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Tyler, Tom R. 1990. Why People Obey the Law. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  90. Valentino, Benjamin A., Paul Huth, and Dylan Balch-Lindsay. 2004. ‘Draining the Sea’: Mass Killing and Guerrilla Warfare. International Organization 58 (2): 375–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Van der Meulen, Jan, and Joseph Soeters. 2005. Dutch Courage: The Politics of Acceptable Risks. Armed Forces & Society 31 (4): 537–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Vasquez, Joseph Paul. 2009. International Politics by Ordinary Means: Conscription’s Constraints on Democracies Waging War. Ph.D. diss., University of Notre Dame.Google Scholar
  93. Vennesson, Pascal. 2011. War without the People. In The Changing Character of War, ed. Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers, 241–258. New York: Random House. Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Walzer, Michael. 2015. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  95. Weber, Max. 1964. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: Free Press. Kindle.Google Scholar
  96. Welsh, Jennifer M. 2004. Introduction. In Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations, ed. Jennifer M. Welsh, 57–154. New York: Oxford University Press. Kindle.Google Scholar
  97. Williams, Rhys H. 2004. The Cultural Contexts of Collective Action: Constraints, Opportunities, and the Symbolic Life of Social Movements. In The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, ed. David A. Snow, Sarah A. Soule, and Hanspeter Kriesi, 91–115. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  98. Winter, Yves. 2016. The Siege of Gaza: Spatial Violence, Humanitarian Strategies, and the Biopolitics of Punishment. Constellations 23 (2): 308–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Zaller, John. 1994. Elite Leadership of Mass Opinion: New Evidence from the Gulf War. In Taken by Storm: The Media, Public Opinion, and US Foreign Policy in the Gulf War, ed. W.Lance Bennett and David Paletz, 186–209. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  100. Zehfuss, Maja. 2011. Targeting: Precision and the Production of Ethics. European Journal of International Relations 17 (3): 543–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Political Science and CommunicationThe Open University of IsraelRaananaIsrael

Personalised recommendations