The results of the last elections have been interpreted in relation to the question about the legitimacy, and the dangers of a de-legitimization of the institutions. A little earlier, during the Congress of Sociology, I was listening to a table at which were discussed problems of legitimacy of the policy. On that occasion, and I still round, I asked the question that titled this entry; and that now we will take advantage of try to answer.
Legitimacy appears, at least in Sociology, as part of the question of how to maintain a social order. And also appears behind the argument that a social order cannot be sustained on the coercion. She has to be the ultima ratio , but cannot be the basis of the day to day operation of the society. If every person only did what is required for the maintenance of law and order by threat of gallows, it is clear that it will not hold. It is a discovery that is, in fact, prior to the birth of formal of our discipline, and as Nisbet declared some time ago have a rooted conservative. And any reader of the Reflections of Burke you will notice that there is already criticism of the idea is enough with the threats to hold an order and that those who thought so would be in the development of their revolution as it was unworkable.
Now, that requires something more than coercion to sustain an order is clear, and critical to this has been overwhelming over time. But it does not follow that the legitimacy of the order, and in particular the legitimacy of the order to all the population, is the only answer. The same Weber, to whom we owe some of the formulations of greater influence on the subject, he did not forget that there were other sources of order; and the Protestant Ethic ends with an intuition that is also common to Marx: That capitalism has other sources to get people to do what the order required, without the need of believe in the legitimacy of the system (and without the need of the coercion of the threat of physical).
Such considerations do not necessarily apply to the political order, and one might argue that there necessarily would be necessary legitimacy. In the end, the regularities do not occur because yes, and being a common activity to justify the political order, then it should be infer that it is an activity necessary: if it is not successful, then no political order can survive.
Let us explore, then, some hypotheses about what happens around the legitimacy of the political system in Chile
- There is No illegitimacy of democracy as such. The general idea of the democratic regime is settled, and several of the criticisms that are made to their current forms are made around the specific regime are made from the request of more (or a real) democracy.
- With regard to the specific form that acquires the representative democracy in Chile, its legitimacy is in question.
- The legitimacy of governance still seems to continue to exist. This in the sense that it discusses (mostly) the result of an electoral contest -even if you are not given much value to such a contest as such. In a certain sense, even after the defeat of the electoral register, was not given further discussion of the result.
The legitimacy of governance is the legitimacy operational. In a certain sense, it is that which is required for the continuation of the system: For the mayors to take, to ensure your decisions etc, on the other hand, the legitimacy of the system strengthens the following: As all attempt to overcome the crisis of the regime itself must be done according to democratic principles, it seeks to harness the moments of criticism.
Then there would be a response: the legitimacy crisis of The regime is protected by the legitimate bodies that still exist in other elements. And this then would allow us to explain, because the regime can survive even when it has lost legitimacy.
It is possible to refute the above logic. We can raise the legitimate bodies that I have mentioned are not of the general population but only of the political elites. That in the population if there are doubts about the legitimacy of governance, despite the fact that among the elites these do not exist (i.and and you have accepted defeats and victories and without further delay). This reminds me of an affirmation I learned from my professor of sociological theory Raúl Atria, back in the early ’90s, around that in Weber’s types of legitimacy are anchored by the beliefs of box administrative, not of the population. I will not discuss now if this is a proper interpretation of Weber, but I will say that it seems to me a valuable observation about the reality.
If the political elite assumes the legitimacy procedural, which let us remember is the daily and more operational, then there is legitimacy procedural: will Happen all of the things that an election is supposed to solve (i.and assume all charges in the property who are declared the winners). If there is no belief in the legitimacy of governance among the population (let’s assume for now such a scenario) this does not have effect unless they are resolved the issues of collective action, of co-ordination: A set of disbelievers individual has too many incentives of various kinds to perform the actions required by the order (going back to the intuition initial of Weber and Marx) so that it can continue.
Then, on the one hand, the legitimate bodies in other dimensions can solve the crisis in the legitimacy of a specific regime; and the legitimacy of the box administrative can solve the crisis of legitimacy in the population. Which tells us that while legitimacy matters, not all the legitimate bodies have equal relevance.
A last observation. And then, why the concern for legitimacy in the population if an order can be held to exist problems in that order? Ultimately, there is a robustness issue. An order can sustain itself when there are problems of legitimacy: There are other forces that keep order, there are other places where you can still survive the legitimacy. But it is a lift vulnerable. And although the vulnerability does not collapse, is not something that those interested in sustaining the order should be overlooked.