Traditional, Charismatic and Grounded Legitimacy

TitelTraditional, Charismatic and Grounded Legitimacy
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelStudy by Kevin Clements on legitimacy in hybrid political orders
AutorInnenClements, KP
Anzahl Seiten36 pp.
VerlagDivision State and Democracy, Governance Cluster, Sector Project Good Governance and Democracy, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH

(The following text has been taken from the introduction:)
"The international donor community has committed itself to assist in "building effective, legitimate and resilient state institutions, capable of engaging productively with their people to promote sustained development" (OECD - DAC Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations, Preamble). The Paris Declaration of March 2005 in particular addresses the need to delivering effective aid in fragile states and declares as the "long-term vision for international engagement in fragile states (...…) to build legitimate, effective and resilient state and other country institutions" (Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, point 37). In fact, the development policies and development assistance of major donor countries and multilateral donor organisations over the last few years have been heavily framed by the discourse on fragile states. State-building today is seen by major donors as a central dimension of development assistance, and functioning, effective and legitimate state and society institutions are seen as a prerequisite for sustainable development. In this context, practical policies and assistance has very much focussed on capacity development and institution-building as a means for securing effectiveness. In comparison, legitimacy had a somewhat secondary position, the underlying assumption being that legitimacy would somehow automatically result from effectiveness. Only recently, issues of legitimacy have gained more prominence in their own right. Importantly, the OECD-DAC's Fragile States Group State Building Task Team has given legitimacy prominence in its deliberations and initial findings on state-building which provide an excellent starting point for further conceptual and practical work on this topic in the context of the necessities of state formation under conditions of fragility.
It is in this context that this brief exploratory study (among others) has been elaborated. We posit that donors working in fragile environments need to focus much more attention on legitimacy issues than has been the case so far and we argue that donors have to widen their perspective on and understanding of legitimacy considerably. Our impression is that currently a rather limited understanding of legitimacy prevails among Western donors. They tend to see legitimacy (only) in Western enlightenment terms, along the lines of the Weberian ideal type of legal-rational legitimacy. Their reflections on process and performance legitimacy very much focus on sources of this legal-rational type of legitimacy. The hypothesis underlying this study, however, is that legal-rational legitimacy as it can be found in the developed Western OECD states is only one type of legitimacy in fragile states and situations, and that donors - nolens volens - will have to engage with other types of legitimacy if they want to help build effective, resilient and legitimate states in fragile situations. These other types of legitimacy have a lot of positive potential for state-building, but also a lot of risks.Nevertheless, donors cannot ignore them.In the following sections we shall firstly very briefly sketch our theoretical-conceptual approach which is basically a Weberian one. Then we also very briefly present some necessary terminological clarifications. This will be followed by the main part of the study which will focus on traditional and charismatic types of legitimacy in fragile situations (or - as we prefer to say: in hybrid political orders). Flowing from this main part we present the main features of what we call grounded legitimacy, completed by a short case study. Finally, we put forward some lessons for donors and recommendations that address the question how external actors could improve their assistance for state-building by taking traditional and charismatic forms of legitimacy into consideration."

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