The Underlying Likeness among the Concepts of Legitimacy, Sovereignty, and Authority. Legitimacy:
The original meaning of legitimacy is the rightful king or queen was on the throne by reason of “legitimate” birth. Legitimacy now refers to an attitude in people’s minds – in some countries strong, in others weak – that the government’s rule is rightful (Roskin, 1974). Legitimacy itself is the lawful condition or quality of an act or person. When a whole range of behavior is legitimate, it may be called a legitimate order. The three kinds of legitimacy that determine the existence of sovereignty are rational legitimacy, traditional legitimacy, and charismatic legitimacy. Rational legitimacy is the accord of a people with all claims and acts that are clearly defined as to meaning and objective and that are governed by respect for legal regulations. Traditional legitimacy is accord with claims and acts of rulers because these rulers have "always" made these claims and committed these acts. For example, monarchy is a source of traditional legitimacy. Charismatic legitimacy is rarely found in a pure form. "Charisma" distinguishes those acts that are deemed to be right because possessed of "the touch of grace"; certain persons and events are supposed to be miraculous and possessed of a special mission in, or significance to, society. Legitimacy is achieved by a government in several ways. Mostly government tries to achieve legitimacy by providing security so that people feel reasonable safe. If there is no security, there is no legitimacy. Legitimacy associated with security is rule of law. The second way of achieving legitimacy is governing well in which government tries to ensure economic growth and job so that people can feed their families. The third way is contributing the structure of government to its legitimacy so that people feel they are fairly represented and have a say in selection of their officials. The fourth ways of achieving legitimacy is by symbols such as flag and historic monuments that everybody should be obeyed. Legitimacy means respect for a government. If there is no legitimacy, people have lost respect for government. Sovereignty:
Sovereignty is defined originally as the power of monarch over his or her kingdom, but later it is defined as the power of a state to defend their borders from outside attack and to defend their authority from internal non-state rivals by maintaining armies to prevent foreign innovation, controlling their borders with passports and visas and hunting down terrorists. . It can be said that sovereignty means respect for a country. If there is no sovereignty, terrorists have lost respect for the country. Authority:
Authority is a form of power in which a person or group has the right to issue certain sorts of commands and those commands should be obeyed. Authority is psychological ability of leaders to get others to obey them. It relies on a sense of obligation based on the legitimate power of office. Authority is socially accepted. In the society, various groups and individuals may have limited authority; however states and governments have the highest authority in a given society. But not all people obey authority but some people obey what they perceived as legitimate authority most of the time. Authority may also be defined as the right of a leader to prevail obedience, whereby the government can make decisions and accomplish them effectively. It can be understandable that authority as a mean of attainable agreement without persuasion and rational argument but with pressure and coercion. Authority means respect for a leader. If there is no authority, people have lost respect or faith in that particular president. Legitimacy, sovereignty and authority cannot be achieved automatically. All of them must be earned by the government through different ways. All these three concepts are related so that if one of them deteriorated, others can also be...
References: O’ Nell, P. H., Fields, K. & Share, D.(2006). Case in Comparative Politics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company. Inc.
The Open University of Hong Kong (2010), Introduction to Political Science (unit – 1). Hong Kong, China: The Open University of Hong Kong.
Roskin, M. G., Cord, R. L., Medeiros, J. A. & Jones, W. S. (2008), Political Science: An Introduction (10th ed.). Upp
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