Operationalizing Legitimacy

  title={Operationalizing Legitimacy},
  author={Eric W. Schoon},
  journal={American Sociological Review},
  pages={478 - 503}
  • Eric W. Schoon
  • Published 11 January 2020
  • Sociology, Business, Law
  • American Sociological Review
Legitimacy is widely invoked as a condition, cause, and outcome of other social phenomena, yet measuring legitimacy is a persistent challenge. In this article, I synthesize existing approaches to conceptualizing legitimacy across the social sciences to identify widely agreed upon definitional properties. I then build on these points of consensus to develop a generalizable approach to operationalization. Legitimacy implies specific relationships among three empirical elements: an object of… 
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