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2. Sources of empirical legitimacy of governance

The preceding research of the SFB 700 suggests a particular importance of empirical legitimacy. We thus aim to clarify how empirical legitimacy arises as a presumable key condition of effective governance. Due to which normative reasons do the persons affected endorse governance? In doing so, we focus on the following sources of legitimacy:

Concerned parties’ participation in political decisions is an important source of legitimacy and contributes to procedural legitimacy (input und throughput legitimacy). For the participatory mechanism to function persons affected must be able to act (which in turn requires social trust; see above). In areas of limited statehood, there exist locally varying forms of participation aside from voting and elections, such as consensual decision-making or ad hoc and topic-based appointment of representatives towards community outsiders. The historical perspective, taken in some sub-projects of the SFB 700, demonstrates the importance of reflecting on differing ideas of legitimacy. Governance constellations are to be evaluated according to appropriate context-specific criteria of participation and procedure.

The expected or actual effectiveness of governance as perceived by the concerned parties strengthens or weakens the legitimacy of a governance-constellation (output legitimacy). As legitimacy, in turn, constitutes a condition for success of effective governance, the relationship is reciprocal.

The readiness to comply and authority are necessary conditions of effective governance. They can be generated through different means, e.g. through formal public office. In areas of limited statehood, empirical legitimacy usually derives from specific properties that are attributed to governing actors. We differentiate legitimacy by (specialized) knowledge (e.g. experts), by moral or religious competence (e.g. NGOs as norm-entrepreneurs) or by ethnic, identity-based ascription (e.g. chiefs).

External governance-transfersare more likely to be recognized when the promoted norms and values build upon local concepts and practices. We are interested in the conditions under which adaptation of governance-services to the desired context (through localization and transmission) contributes to the legitimacy of governance.