Special Departmental Seminar - The Legitimation of Power Revisited

Professor David Beetham (University of Leeds)

Department of Politics, Elmfield Lecture Theatre One | Tuesday 24th May | 16.00-18.00

Legitimacy is one of the most frequently used and most contested concepts in political discourse. In the first edition of his seminal book The Legitimation of Power David Beetham sought to explore the underlying logic of legitimacy claims as consisting in a threefold structure of rule-conformity, normative justifiability (deriving from both a rightful source of authority and the recognised purpose of power) and public acts of acknowledgement or recognition on the part of those qualified to give it. The specific content of this common structure was shown to be highly variable across different historical periods and types of power. In a second edition Beetham both clarifies and defends this analytical structure, and have showed how it could be used to explore legitimacy in contemporary political formations both below and beyond the state, as well as across different target audiences for legitimacy claims.

This talk will expand on the additional material of this second edition, and elaborate on an important issue for political economy: the crisis of legitimacy in international finance precipitated by the banking collapse of 2008, and how this crisis came to be displaced onto democratic governments and the institutions of the European Union.​

Key Information

'The Legitimation of Power Revisited'

Professor David Beetham
Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds

Department of Politics, Elmfield Lecture Theatre One
Tuesday 24th May
16.00-18.00

Hosted by the Sir Bernard Crick Centre and the Political Economy Research Group

Refreshments Provided by the Crick Centre.

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