[Internal-cg] Narelle: on legitimacy

Narelle Clark narelle.clark at accan.org.au
Thu Jul 17 14:03:05 UTC 2014

From:  Milton L Mueller [mueller at syr.edu]
Sent: Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:44 PM

Narelle: In politics the term legitimacy has almost nothing to do with legality. Things can be perfectly legal but perceived as entirely illegitimate. Authority can be accepted as legitimate while having no legal authority. Legitimacy means that the authority and rightness of the arrangements are widely accepted and trusted by people around the world. I added the term based on comments from Adiel, who made what I thought was a valid point that we wanted the outcome to be legitimate as well as accountable.


While I agree with you that this sense of the term is common, I fear it is too open to other senses of the term when more widely interpreted.

I am expressing a known sensitivity to the term: iif we can come up with a better one that doesn't provoke legal frameworks, then good. If not, I'll live with it, but we will further need to clarify that if we do.

I full agree that it needs to be rigorous, widely endorsed, and well understood. That all amounts to being "legitimate" without something having been created through a legal framwork. Ultimately those tests will follow, also, but whatever falls out should be rigorous to withstand it.



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