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Legitimacy: the Treasure of Politics

Tage Kurtén and Lars Hertzberg

This book is an inquiry into the concept of legitimacy. In stable democratic states, such as the Nordic societies, legitimacy is often taken for granted. However, these essays show that this «treasure of politics» is very fragile. Legitimacy is understood as a gift bestowed on the authorities by citizens, rather than a means used by the authorities in order to remain in power. This emphasizes the role of the citizens rather than of the authorities. At the same time legitimacy is seen as an ethical assessment of those in power. In this volume, legitimacy is studied by philosophers, human rights scholars and theological ethicists. The articles cover inter-state political systems, nation states as well as conflict resolutions between individuals on a grass root level.
Contents: T. Kurtén: Introduction – L. Hertzberg: Legitimacy and the Political Community – O. Lagerspetz: Peter Winch on Political Legitimacy – T. Kurtén/V. Päivänsalo: Legitimacy, Trust and Religion in a Nordic Perspective – P. Slotte/M. Scheinin: Captain, Fire Brigade or Icebreaker? Political Legitimacy as a Rationale in Human Rights Adjudication – M. Lindfelt: Legitimacy, Constitutionalism and European Integration – J. Molander: Reconciliation, Transitional Justice and the Legitimacy of the State – H. Jokinen: The Quest for Legitimacy in Conflict Resolution through Restorative Justice – L. Kanckos/M. Björkgren: Legitimacy Challenges in Gender Politics - Challenges to Political Legitimacy in Parliamentary Debates Concerning LGBT Rights, Assisted Reproduction and Domestic Violence.