This chapter presents the research questions and outline of the book, providing a brief review of the state of the art of legitimacy research in established democracies, and discusses the recurring theme of crisis throughout this literature since the 1960s. It includes a discussion of the conceptualization and measurement of legitimacy, seeking to relate legitimacy to political support, and reflecting on how to evaluate empirical indicators: what symptoms indicate crisis? This chapter further explains the structure of the three main parts of the book. Part I evaluates in a systematic fashion the empirical evidence for legitimacy decline in established democracies; Part II reappraises the validity of theories of legitimacy decline; and Part II investigates what (new) explanations can account for differences in legitimacy between established democracies. The chapter concludes with a short description of the chapters included in the volume.
|Title of host publication||Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy Crisis|
|Subtitle of host publication||Explaining Trends and Cross-National Differences in Established Democracies|
|Editors||Carolien van Ham, Jacques Thomassen, Kees Aarts, Rudy Andeweg|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jul 2017|
Thomassen, J. J. A., & van Ham, C. (2017). A Legitimacy Crisis of Representative Democracy? In C. van Ham, J. Thomassen, K. Aarts, & R. Andeweg (Eds.), Myth and Reality of the Legitimacy Crisis: Explaining Trends and Cross-National Differences in Established Democracies [Chapter 1] Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198793717.003.0001