Examine and Assess the Ways the State Claims Legitimacy

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Examine and assess the ways in which the state claims legitimacy. The state refers to the shared ideas and expectations regarding the ordering of social life, it is seen by social scientists as a set of practices and organisations. The state is an institutional order striving to create some order, thus preventing chaos in order to ensure law and order to encourage social stability. Governments include a part of the state, with the main concern being the protection of individual freedom, the government demands the right to represent or rule some areas of society’s lives. Social scientists are able to see the differences between what the government is and what the state is all about. On the whole the government includes a group of ministers who rule and administer the laws concerning national issues, whereas the state is seen to have continuity, therefore it is not temporary, the state is based on shared beliefs concerning the arrangements of social life. The English historian AJP Taylor argued that until August 1915 “a sensible law abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state beyond the post office and the policeman” (Exploring social lives 2009). This shows that from the end of this period and onwards across the United Kingdom the state appears to be everywhere, it shows that the lives of society have been made and remade by the state as during World War 1 and World War 2 acts of parliament were passed, the state legitimised acts which could not be contested by society as they were faced with war and great turmoil. The state is part of the discourses that can be seen in day to day life and can be seen by such organisations as schools, hospitals, housing and transport to name a few. The making and remaking of the state is also shown to be constructed by society, whereby individuals have had to become “active citizens”. This making and remaking can be seen by the members of society who pay...
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