Crisis Tendencies of Political Systems

  • David Beetham
Part of the Issues in Political Theory book series (IPT)


In the light of the previous chapter’s discussion, a political system can be defined as a set of constitutional rules whose purpose is not only to effect a particular arrangement of state power, but also to secure legitimacy for that arrangement, and hence for those who exercise power under it, in respect of the different criteria outlined: the maintenance of legality; the derivation from a recognised source of authority; the satisfaction of a general interest in regard to the acknowledged ends of government; the demonstration of consent. Where the previous chapter considered each of these criteria separately, the present chapter will explore their mutual relationship within different types of political system.


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© David Beetham 1991

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  • David Beetham

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