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Definitions of Power, Political Power

Response to R.Austin on legitimacy

Good questions Ruaidhri, but try not to look at whether Mugabe himself was long term or not (& clearly 27 years is a very long time for one man to rule any country); rather look at HOW he ruled and the WAYS in which Zimbabwe tried to muster legitimacy for its regime. Read the attached link from the BBC. You will see it littered with attepmts to legitimise the regime – parliament; party votes; constitutional rules etc.

In terms of NI, it is true to say that we have just had our first full parliament since the collapse of 1972. The legitimacy that was lacking from 1999-2002 was that one of the main parties (DUP) opposed and tried to ‘wreck’ the institutions from within. Since 2006 (St Andrews Agreement) all democratic poltical parties have recognised the ‘rightfulness’ or legitimacy of NI’s democratic institutions. There are continuing issues with things such as voting procedures (e.g. parallel consent) but all the main parties accept the institutions in principle.

Zimbabwe link:


One thought on “Response to R.Austin on legitimacy

  1. Ruaidhri posted this under “America & the Civil War”:

    Hey everyone hope you are all having a good easter. I am doing some past papers and i came across one on legitimacy. “Evaluate the view that only legitimate states survive the long term.” I think we struggled with this idea of “long term” in class? What constitutes as long term? Mugabe came to power in 1980 in zimbabwe? He lasted for 27 years in government and only fell due to the economic downfall? But would 27 years be long term or short term in politics? Compared to US and UK etc? Northern Ireland as well for the synoptic? If anyone checks this and has any idea could you leave a comment? ill keep checking thanks


    Posted by 3xmarathonsforcancer | April 29, 2011, 12:31 pm

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