Patterns of Legitimacy
Interdisciplinary Conference organized by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Anika Klafki in cooperation with ICON-S Germany
Legitimacy refers to the lawfulness and acceptability of the exercise of sovereign power. Legitimacy is thus the foundation of any exercise of authority. Given that social orders are complex and constantly changing, legitimacy is a mutable concept.
Different ideas of legitimacy exist in the various disciplines of social sciences. On the one hand, legitimacy is constructed via formal legal principles, on the other hand it is conceptualized as factual acceptance. Within legal theory, too, there are different trends in the conception of legitimate administrative action. While in the United States material concepts of the common good are gaining momentum, in the transnational administrative network of the European Union, participation and due process are essential components of legitimacy. In global administrative law, moreover, legitimacy notions of different political systems must be accommodated. Finally, legitimacy also depends on factual context. This is particularly visible in times of crisis, where institutional failures and powershifts demand for new concepts of legitimacy.
The conference explores the legitimacy discourse in an interdisciplinary and comparative manner to reveal contemporary patterns of legitimacy. This provides the theoretical basis for solving current legal problems in national as well as transnational administrative law.