Modes of Non-legitimate Power

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


The previous two chapters have discussed the legitimation problems of the contemporary state in general, and of particular types of political system. The final topic to consider is the actual process of breakdown of political order, and the way in which legitimacy deficits develop into delegitimation and then illegality. In the first section of this chapter 1 shall distinguish the different modes of non-legitimate power at a conceptual level, and show how they are systematically related to one another as a dynamic or sequential process. The second and third sections will then analyse two different types of such a process: those leading to revolution and coup d’état respectively; and will consider the prospects for the successful relegitimation of revolutionary and military regimes in turn. In a concluding section I shall draw together the different elements in an explanation for the repeated breakdown of legitimacy experienced by states in the contemporary world.


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Copyright information

© David Beetham 1991

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  • David Beetham

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