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Legitimacy in conflict: concepts, practices, challenges

von Billerbeck, S. B. K. and Gippert, B. (2017) Legitimacy in conflict: concepts, practices, challenges. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 11 (3). pp. 273-285. ISSN 1750-2985

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17502977.2017.1357701


The study of legitimacy in situations of conflict and peacebuilding has increased in recent years. However, current work on the topic adopts many assumptions, definitions, and understandings from classical legitimacy theory, which centers on the relationship between the nation-state and its citizens. In this introduction, we provide a detailed critical overview of current theories of legitimacy and legitimation and demonstrate why they have only limited applicability in conflict and post-conflict contexts, focusing on the three main areas that the articles included in this special issue examine: audiences for legitimacy, sources of legitimacy, and legitimation. In particular, we show how conflict and post-conflict contexts are marked by the fragmentation and personalization of power; the proliferation and fragmentation of legitimacy audiences; and ambiguity surrounding legitimation strategies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:71417
Uncontrolled Keywords:conflict peacekeeping legitimacy intervention
Publisher:Taylor and Francis


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