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)


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