Good Governance and Legitimacy

  • Yu Keping


In the 1970s, the German scholar Jürgen Habermas put forward the idea that developed Western countries were facing a legitimacy crisis (Habermas 1975: 68–75). Since then, the legitimacy theory has been one of the core issues of political science, and the problem of legitimacy crises have been troubling politicians. Legitimacy crises come in cycles—they come into being and then they get resolved—these are signs of political progress. Violent conquest, blood ties, religious beliefs, old superstitions, and other factors used to be important sources of legitimacy in traditional politics. In modern times, welfare, good government, and benevolent government have become the main sources of political legitimacy, and in particular, the establishment of democracy and the rule of law is key to the creation of political legitimacy. Now, in the twenty-first century, the world is facing new crises and new challenges on legitimacy issues.


Political Participation Good Governance Political Legitimacy Democratic Politics Good Government 
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© Deng Zhenglai and Sujian Guo 2011

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  • Yu Keping

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