The anarchy of legitimacy

Patrick McNutt (School of Public Policy, Economics and Law, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Focuses on the indirect participation of the more marginalized and disenfranchised voters in a political system where discrimination and segregation in the supply of public goods is a leading hallmark of political reality. Specifically, the non‐voters tend to be poorer, less well educated, younger and also disproportionately higher in minority and discriminated groups. There is instability in the political system and inevitably their detachment confers legitimacy to a political suborder, popularized by terrorism and paramilitary activity. Addresses the possibility of achieving equal control of the political agenda. The unelected representatives, referred to as the parapoliticians, of the marginalized and disenfranchised citizens, many of whom have had recourse to paramilitary activity, have to be included in the negotiations for a new political system. The accomplishment may be in electing a government but a greater accomplishment would be in revealing and unmasking who really governs. The parapoliticians are in a unique position to exercise agenda control which would restore stability to the political system.



McNutt, P. (1996), "The anarchy of legitimacy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 23 No. 12, pp. 75-81.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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