The stability of any given democracy depends not only on economic development but also upon the effectiveness and the legitimacy of its political system. Effectiveness means actual performance, the extent to which the system satisfies the basic functions of government as most of the population and such powerful groups within it as big business or the armed forces see them. Legitimacy involves the capacity of the system to engender and maintain the belief that the existing political institutions are the most appropriate ones for the society. The extent to which contemporary democratic political systems are legitimate depends in large measure upon the ways in which the key issues which have historically divided the society have been resolved.
- Political System
- Political Institution
- Social Conflict
- Lower Stratum
- Wing Parti
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Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, I (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Vintage ed., 1945), pp. 251–52.
See Gabriel Almond, ‘Comparative Political Systems’, Journal of Politics, 18 (1956), pp. 391–409. D*
Herbert Luethy, The State of France (London: Secker & Warburg, 1955), p. 29.
For an excellent analysis of the permanent crisis of the Austrian republic which flowed from the fact that it was viewed as an illegitimate regime by the Catholics and conservatives, see Charles Gulick, Austria from Hapsburg to Hitler (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1948).
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© 1969 Jean Blondel
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Lipset, S.M. (1969). Social Conflict, Legitimacy, and Democracy. In: Blondel, J. (eds) Comparative Government. Palgrave, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-15318-3_7
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