Theorizing the domestic legitimacy of using force

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The question of what constitutes the legitimacy of using force against an external adversary has become especially relevant since the wars that followed 9/11, and post-Cold War interventions in human crises. This article is conceptually motivated to bridging some of the scholarly gaps, mainly by developing a systematic methodological approach to analyzing how democratic governments try to establish domestic legitimacy for using force, defining that legitimacy and operationalizing it. Thereafter, it analyzes the two components of this legitimacy—the ingrained and the dynamic—and the interrelationships between them, thereby developing a framework for an empirical analysis of specific cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Collective action
  • Deliberative democracy
  • Militarization
  • Public opinion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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