chapter  10
18 Pages

Legitimation, Sovereignty and Globalisation

Astute readers might well have observed something of a paradox in the book so far. On the one hand, we have suggested that underpinning the Rule of Law is the legitimating phenomenon ‘democracy’. It is democracy that provides authority and legitimacy for the actions of law making governments in countries operating within the Rule of Law. On the other hand, in the last chapter, we saw that democratic choices of populations – at least in heavily indebted states – are greatly constrained. The ‘reality’ of the indebtedness seems to make the election of a government not committed to the economic policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund either unthinkable or even suicidal. Dire threats both explicit and implicit hang over the heads of governments unwilling to follow the prescribed course of economic action.