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Legitimacy Gap - Secularism, Religion, and Culture in Comparative Constitutional Law by Depaigne, Vincent (13th July 2017)

Part I The Secular State Between Procedural and Substantive Legitimacy, 1 The ‘Legitimacy Gap’ in the Secular State

From: Legitimacy Gap: Secularism, Religion, and Culture in Comparative Constitutional Law

Vincent Depaigne

This chapter looks at the theoretical aspects of the ‘legitimacy gap’ and how the theories of Max Weber and of the social contract can respond to this ‘gap’. After providing a discussion of secularization and of the transformation of the role of religion in the state, this chapter looks at the theory of legitimacy developed by Max Weber and how this theory can explain the nature of the ‘legitimacy gap’ left by the decline of traditional forms of legitimacy. It then turns to social contract theories to show how they can be considered a response to the ‘legitimacy gap’ and how the theories of Hobbes and Rousseau, with their concern to legitimize sovereignty, require substantive norms binding the community created by the social contract.

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