The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

State Legitimacy

  • Hikmet MengüaslanEmail author
Living reference work entry


As social creatures, human beings need order, organization, and protection for the very sustenance of their lives. The order, organization, and protection necessitate division of labor and decision-making mechanisms for the issues such as allocation of resources for defined purposes in daily routines. In this regard, the definition of purposes, the determination of the way of fulfilling these purposes, and those who take part in this process are few of the basic actions quite vital in the survival and sustenance of social communities. The very legitimacy of authority of an entity – be it a tribe, a city state, an empire, or a state in the modern sense – therefore, derives partially from the abovementioned needs of human beings.

In the process of survival and sustenance, the provision and ensuring security constitute significant part of sources from which the legitimacy of authority is derived. Therefore, the relation of legitimacy and security can be argued as highly...


Political authority Domestic-international legitimacy Human security Responsibility to protect 
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Further Reading

  1. Beetham, D. (1991). The legitimation of power. New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gilley, B. (2006). The meaning and measure of state legitimacy: Results for 72 countries. European Journal of Political Research, 45, 499–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. OECD. (2010). The state’s legitimacy in fragile situations: Unpacking complexity. Retrieved from Accessed 01 Mar 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International RelationsMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey