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.


  1. الف) فارسی

    1. جان استوارت میل (1375). رساله دربارۀ آزادی، ترجمۀ جواد شیخ‌الاسلامی، چ چهارم، تهران: علمی فرهنگی.
    2. جان رالز (1383). عدالت بهمثابۀ انصاف، ترجمۀ عرفان ثابتی، تهران: ققنوس.
    3. ------ (1392). لیبرالیسم سیاسی، ترجمۀ موسی اکرمی، تهران: ثالث.
    4. دیوید بیتهام (1382). مشروعسازی قدرت، ترجمۀ محمد عابدی اردکانی، یزد: دانشگاه یزد.
    5. ژان ژاک روسو (1366). قرارداد اجتماعی، ترجمۀ منوچهر کیا، چ سوم، تهران: گنجینه.
    6. کارل اشمیت (1388). مفهوم امر سیاسی، ترجمۀ صالح نجفی، در قانون و خشونت، تهران: رخداد نو.
    7. جان لاک (1392). دو رسالۀ حکومت، ترجمۀ فرشاد شریعت، تهران: نشر نگاه معاصر.
    8. ماکس وبر (1384). اقتصاد و جامعه، ترجمۀ عباس منوچهری و مهرداد ترابی‌نژاد و مصطفی عمادزاده، تهران: سمت


    ب) انگلیسی

    1. Allen, Buchanan. (2004). Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    2. Badie, Bertrand, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Leonardo Morlino.(2011). International encyclopedia of political science, SAGE Publications.
    3. Coicaud, Jean-Marc. (2004). Legitimacy and Politics, A Contribution to the Study of Political Right and Political Responsibility, translated and edited by David Ames Curtis, Cambridge University Press.
    4.  Gilley, Bruce. (2006). “The meaning and measure of state legitimacy: Results for 72 countries”, European Journal of Political Research 45: 499–525.
    5.  Gilley, Bruce. (2009). Interview with Bruce Gilley. In
    6. Gilley, Bruce. (2009). The Right to Rule: How States Win and Lose Legitimacy, New York: Columbia University Press.
    7.  Habermas, Jurgen. (1975). Legitimation Crisis, Trans. T. McCarthy. Cambridge, MA: Beacon Press.    
    8. Hardin, Russell. (2007). “Compliance, Consent, and Legitimacy”, In The Oxford hand book of Comparative Politics, Edited by Carles Boix and Susan C Stokes, Oxford University Press.
    9. Hume, David. (1987). “Of the Original Contract,” In Hume's Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, Edited by: Eugene F. Miller, Liberty Fund, Inc.
    10. Johnston, David. (2009).”A History of Consent in Western Thought”, In ‘ The Ethics of Consent: Theory and Practice, F. Miller and A. Wertheimer (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    11. Lipset, Seymour M. (1993). The Social Requisites of Democracy Revisited: 1993 Presidential Address, American Sociological Review, Vol. 59, No. 1. (Feb., 1994), pp. 1-22.
    12. Morris, Christopher. (2008). “State Legitimacy and Social Order”, In J. K¨uhnelt (ed.), Political Legitimization without Morality? Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
    13. Musonda, m, Anthony. (2006). Political Legitimacy: The Quest for the Moral Authority of the State, A Philosophical Analysis, LMU Bibliothek, München.
    14. Parkinson, John. (2006). Deliberating in the Real World ,Problems of Legitimacy in Deliberative Democracy, Oxford University Press.
    15. Peter, Fabienne. (2010). “Political Legitimacy”, In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
    16. Peters, B. G. (2011). ‘Bureaucracy and democracy: Towards result-based legitimacy?’, inJ-M. Eymeri-Douzans and J. Pierre (eds), Administrative Reforms and Democratic Governance (London: Routledge).
    17. Rawls, John. (1990). A theory of justice, Harvard University Press.
    18. Rawls, John. (2005). Political Liberalism, Columbia University Press.
    19. Rawls, John. (2007). Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    20. Raz, Joseph. (1983). Essays on Law and Morality, The Authority of Law-Oxford University Press, USA.
    21. Simmons, John. (2001). Justification and Legitimacy, Essays on Rights and Obligations, Cambridge University Press.
    22. Tom O’Shea,(2012). Consent in History, Theory and Practice, The Essex Autonomy Project: content/uploads/2011/03/Consent-GPR-June-2012.pdf
    23. Walzer, Michael. (1982). Obligations: Essays on Disobedience, War, and Citizenship, 4th edn Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.