Chapter

Quandaries in the Legitimation of Political Power

Kwame Gyekye

in Tradition and Modernity

Published in print November 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112252
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853069 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195112252.003.0006
Quandaries in the Legitimation of Political Power

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A succession of coups d'etat in African communities proceeding the colonial period has grave implications to their capacity to execute political authority. The author suggests that political control is a complex idea, which is stemmed from numerous indicators, including the qualifications of the right people to be in the position of ruling, the reliable expression of agreement between the masses and those in the higher status and the association of authenticity with economic soundness or effective governance. Other concerns take account of whether legitimate political power implies political accountabilities or not. Some affirm, but others do not because they believe the moral inclination to act in accordance to justifiable commands takes place only after certain conditions are met. All of these dilemmas constitute, in one way or another, the legalizing factor/s of political power.

Keywords: African communities; colonialism; political power; legitimation; governance; economy; morality

Chapter.  10512 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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