Examine and Assess How Political Order Is Made and Repaired

1635 Words Mar 5th, 2011 7 Pages
Examine and assess how political order is made and repaired.

In this TMA I will examine and assess how political order is made mainly through the state. In order to create, maintain and repair political order, the state needs authority from its citizens to do so and this authority needs to be legitimate. ‘Legitimacy refers to a belief in the states rightness, its right to rule or the idea that its authority is proper.’ I will then explain how today, legitimacy is closely linked to democracy and it is through free and fair elections that the state receives legitimacy. The degree to which individuals legitimise the state is varied and individuals or groups of people can also engage critically with the state.

Creating political
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One way citizens can legitimise their relationship with the state is through ‘citizenship ceremonies’ however most citizens do not attend such ceremonies.

‘Many of the everyday practises and discourses of the state, its discourses, its symbols and the ways in which state actors and institutions represent themselves to the people, are involved in the process of legitimation; that is to say, the states claim of legitimacy from its citizens.’ So through peoples everyday practises and activities like paying taxes or taking the car for an MOT individuals are involved in the making and remaking of the state. This is another way through which people legitimise the state.

However, ‘one of the main ways individuals express their acceptance or rejection of the state is through the ballot box.’ Elections ‘provide a means for people to question and reflect on this or that government policy, the adequacy of this or that government agency, or the talents and policies of this or that party, candidate or official.’ ‘Today we would see free and fair democratic elections as the main, if not the only, reasonable indicator of whether people have given ‘express consent’ to those who hold state-derived power over them.’

Its possible to see that state legitimacy is closely linked to democracy. This is because through democracy the state claims legitimacy to rule over people in a certain territory. Democracy is a form of political order few dare to oppose (Sen) even if they
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