6.3.5 Legitimacy of Political Systems
A political system is a framework of rules and practices for appointing politicians and empowering them to make decisions which significantly affect people’s lives. A legitimate political system is one which the population sees as having the right to exercise power and enforce obedience.
There are various ways of assessing political legitimacy. The following sub-sections step through the subject:
- Political legitimacy is necessary and important (3.5.1).
- Different authors have proposed criteria for assessing it (3.5.2).
- An explanation is offered for how David Beetham’s three-layer assessment model relates to this book (3.5.3).
- Beetham’s third layer of assessment, evidence of public assent, is explored in relation to different political systems (3.5.4).