The Public Legitimacy of Devolution in Scotland and Wales

Richard Llywelyn Wyn Jones, Roger Scully

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The relationship between government and people has long been the defining concern for much political enquiry. Considerable work in political theory has been devoted to addressing the proper limits of government authority, and the rights that citizens should have in relation to that authority. But important strands of normative political thought have also investigated the government-people relationship in terms of the duties and obligations owed to authority by citizens, and the conditions under which authority should be granted acceptance and even loyalty. This latter concern – the circumstances under which citizens accept governing authority as legitimate – also forms a persisting and central theme for empirical political enquiry. Indeed, this concern has been given renewed priority in recent times, both by the investigation of public attitudes to the new democratic regimes established across much of the world (Bratton et al 2004; Evans and Whitefield 1995), and because of perceptions of declining public legitimacy within many of the world’s more established democracies (Anderson and Guillory 1997; Dalton 2004; Norris 1999).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2009


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