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Über dieses Buch

Christoph Michael Hindermann uses a statistical approach to analyze the impact of economic freedom on state legitimacy. Based on multiple regression models, the author not only extracts the determinants of legitimacy but also shows that rule of law is the most important area of economic freedom for legitimacy. In addition, the results also indicate that democracies are not necessarily more legitimate than autocracies and that wealthier countries are, ceteris paribus, perceived as less legitimate. Due to the strong quantitative approach, this thesis contributes not only to the political theory of liberalism and to the field of institutional economics but also enriches the debate on how a legitimate state ought to be.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Throughout history, there has been a relation between those in power and their subordinates in a variety of different settings. Among those, one of the most fascinating power relations is that between the state and its citizens. Although the existence of such a relation seems trivial at a first glance, it becomes more interesting when asking “why do people voluntarily follow and obey” the state, in particular its rules, authorities, and institutions (Dogan, 2003, 116).
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 2. The Concept of Legitimacy

To investigate whether economic freedom impacts the state’s legitimacy, it is first necessary to clarify the concept of legitimacy. Since the focus of legitimacy research lies in political science and sociology, it is reasonable to borrow the legitimacy concept from these scientific disciplines. However, concerning the research question, this also means that I combine political and social science (as sources for the legitimacy concept) with economics (since the concept of economic freedom stems from this literature).
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 3. Legitimacy and its Measurement: A Literature Overview

Since different legitimacy concepts exist, the possibilities to measure legitimacy are manifold. As a consequence, this chapter offers a literature overview of various strategies to measure legitimacy. The overview has two purposes. First and most important, a precise empirical measurement of legitimacy is a necessary precondition to analyze appropriately whether a relationship between economic freedom and political legitimacy exists.
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 4. The Determinants of Legitimacy: Concepts and Literature Overview

The measurement of legitimacy makes it possible to analyze the determinants of legitimacy. That also allows one to test normative theories, hypotheses, or research questions empirically. Since my research question aims at investigating the relationship between economic freedom and state legitimacy, the following chapter reviews the empirical determinants of legitimacy.
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 5. The Determinants of Legitimacy: A Basic Model

This chapter sets up a basic model based on the determinants presented in chapter 4. The basic model serves as the reference model when analyzing the impact of economic freedom on legitimacy (chapter 6).
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 6. Economic Freedom and Legitimacy

In the previous chapter, I analyzed the determinants of legitimacy but ignored economic institutions. The results show that the most important variables refer to political freedom (the degree of democracy and democratic history) and the output of the political but also the economic system (the general development level, general governance, and the unemployment rate). Although these variables explain a large part of legitimacy’s variance, scholars largely neglect one important variable, namely the institutional setting of the economic system – in other words, the degree of economic freedom.
Christoph Michael Hindermann

Chapter 7. Final Summary and Conclusion

This thesis deals with the concept, the measurement, and the determinants of legitimacy with a specific focus on economic freedom. In this vein, the main research purpose is to investigate the impact of economic institutions (i.e. the degree of economic freedom) on state legitimacy. To approach this question, chapter 2 initially reviews the concept of legitimacy in greater detail.
Christoph Michael Hindermann


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