Can political regimes have legitimacy without democracy?

Finally, it is a sign of a mature democracy that military actions are kept to a minimum. This is so because most instances of military aggression cause turmoil to the citizens on both sides of the conflict. It goes without saying that a military backed coup of a democratically elected government is hard to be granted legitimacy. The argument for the impossibility of intervention by a united military “relies on the legitimacy of democracy and the illegitimacy of military rule.” (Sutter, 1999, p. 129) So in a democratic society citizens will have to be empowered to be able to prevent a coup d’etat. Collective public action is warranted so as to maintain the legitimacy of the regime. The justification for civil disobedience comes from the fact that force is a “poor substitute for legitimacy in generating citizen compliance with the law, which may not be empirically valid”. (Sutter, 1999, p. 129)

References

Blick, A., & Weir, S. (2009, Spring). Democracy, Legitimacy and UK Foreign Policy: Ruling Britannia and Waiving the Rules. Renewal, 17(1), 53+.

Blondel, J., Sinnott, R., & Svensson, P. (1998). People and Parliament in the European Union: Participation, Democracy, and Legitimacy. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Bukovansky, M. (2002). Legitimacy and Power Politics: The American and French Revolutions in International Political Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Longo, M. (2004). Hostile Receptions: Dilemmas of Democracy, Legitimacy and Supranational Law. The Australian Journal of Politics and History, 50(2), 211+.

Rosanvallon, P. (2011). Democratic Legitimacy: Impartiality, Reflexivity, Proximity (A. Goldhammer, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sutter, D. (1999). Legitimacy and Military Intervention in a Democracy: Civilian Government as a Public Good. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 58(1), 129.

Valadez, J. M. (2000). Deliberative Democracy: Political Legitimacy and Self-Determination in Multicultural Societies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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