Legitimacy is a key concept of political science. In political theory and practice legitimacy is crucial. In order to be accepted, every political regime needs legitimacy and mechanisms of legitimation. In democracy, legitimacy is closely connected to the principles of popular sovereignty, freedom and equality. What is legitimacy and when is legitimacy democratic? The course will introduce the concept of legitimacy and its relationship with legitimation. It will discuss political legitimacy facing normativity, deliberation, and practices of legitimation such as representation, rhetoric and symbolisation. At the end of the course, students will be invited to analyse deviations of democratic legitimacy in totalitarianism and authoritarianism on the one hand, and ambivalences in populism on the other hand. The course will be complemented with international key-note speakers. The course will be given in English language but students are welcome to use German if its necessary.
Buchanan, Allen, 2002. “Political Legitimacy and Democracy,” Ethics, 112(4): 689–719.
Jean-Marc Coicaud, 2002: Legitimacy and Politics, Cambridge University Press.
Jürgen Habermas, 1997: “Popular Sovereignty as Procedure.” In: J. Bohman/W. Rehg (eds.): Deliberative Democracy, Cambridge: MIT Press, (pp. 35-66).