Examine and Assess the Ways the State Claims Legitimacy Essay

1514 WordsFeb 1, 20117 Pages
Examine and assess the ways in which the state claims legitimacy. The state refers to the shared ideas and expectations regarding the ordering of social life, it is seen by social scientists as a set of practices and organisations. The state is an institutional order striving to create some order, thus preventing chaos in order to ensure law and order to encourage social stability. Governments include a part of the state, with the main concern being the protection of individual freedom, the government demands the right to represent or rule some areas of society’s lives. Social scientists are able to see the differences between what the government is and what the state is all about. On the whole the government includes…show more content…
Christopher Hood (1982, Exploring social lives) a political scientist argues that the bodies that now make up the state are a “formless mass”. By this he means that the state is so large and made up of many organisations and practices compared to a century ago that it is full of complexity. With reference to the essay title it is difficult to actually decipher what legitimacy actually means, this is because the government or state have their own ideas of what is legal and lawful whereby they pass acts of law which lead to legislation, however some members of society may not agree with what the state deems to be legitimate, one such example is the evidence shown in the Exploring Social Lives DVD involving the coal miners’ strike. Although the miners’ strike was caused by the massive pit closure programme that was introduced by Thatcher and her Conservative government; the government used the state and the police to help defeat the miners’ strike. The miners were also prevented from claiming state benefits this was due to the fact that welfare benefits were not permitted to individuals who were on strike. Another act was also passed in 1980 concerning the social security act, this saw that any dependents of any individual
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