Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor; Shahid Beheshti University
What is legitimacy and which foundations it is based on? This paper seeks to answer this question. In this regard, it refers to some main theories and approaches in the field and finally it suggests a comprehensive approach. It argues that legitimacy is a complex, relative and multilayer phenomenon which in its complete form is based on consent, law and universal norms and functionality. But because total legitimacy is something like an ideal never to be achieved, the relative legitimacy of any system should be evaluated according to coordination with and implementation of these various components. So we actually have a degree of legitimacy in the political arena and political systems always suffer from legitimacy deficit.