Mitarbeiterprofil

Cozzaglio, Ilaria, Dr.


ilaria [Punkt] cozzaglio (at) normativeorders [Punkt] net

Kontakt

  • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
    Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders
    2.12
    Max-Horkheimer-Str. 2
    60323 Frankfurt/Main

Tel. (0)6979831491

Projekte und Positionen im Cluster

    Förderperiode 2012-2019

  • Post Docs

Forschungsthema

Believing in a regime’s (il)legitimacy. The interaction between internal and external individuals

Kurzbeschreibung Forschungsthema

The plurality of values and worldviews held by citizens makes it difficult to find shared standards for legitimacy and, therefore, to judge whether the state’s claim to authority has validity. On the one hand, the elaboration of external standards represents a way of demarcation between legitimate and illegitimate states, but it can produce a situation where citizens do not agree with those standards and, therefore, disagree with the final judgement about the state’s legitimacy. This situation represents a crisis of the state’s authority, where there is a gap between citizens’ and the state’s values which the political order is supposed to be grounded on. On the other hand, an account of legitimacy based exclusively on people’s beliefs has the advantage of ‘letting people speak’. In this sense, for example, the role of consent, however interpreted, has received wide attention in the philosophical literature on legitimacy, as opposed to approaches focused on the elaboration of external standards only. However, an absolute lack of external standards may end up in the inability to critically judge the political authority, namely to say when the power is exercised wrongly.
The aim of this research proposal is to investigate the interaction among individuals expressing their beliefs about the legitimacy of a certain regime and to elaborate a bottom-up procedure that allows the individuation of shared normative standards on which to ground legitimacy. In a nutshell, the question is: what kind of political interaction among individuals is necessary in order to individuate shared normative standards, according to which an assessment of the state’s legitimacy is reached? Although, following Weber, the belief in legitimacy concerns individuals subjected to power (I will call them “internal individuals”), even external observers, namely individuals living in a regime different from the one investigated (I will call them “external individuals”) may formulate their own beliefs about its legitimacy and try to influence its subjects. How such an interaction between members and non-members should work, the nature of the beliefs involved, and the weight of the disagreement between internal and external individuals are the questions at the core of this research proposal. In this sense, my research proposal aims at better understanding the crisis of international orders’ legitimacy, with specific reference to the relationship among states and between states and supranational political organizations.

The relationship between internal and external individuals may be exemplified according to four different cases. In two cases both internal and external individuals agree on either the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the regime. These cases are not problematic, because there is a shared belief in the (il)legitimacy of the state. A third case occurs when the internal individual thinks her regime is legitimate, while the external one thinks it is not. A fourth case occurs when the internal individual thinks the regime is not legitimate, while the external one thinks it is. The latter two are not symmetric in terms of the individual experience, as when the external individual contrasts with the internal one in the fourth case, she is denying the painful experience of believing to be governed arbitrarily. Similarly, in the third case, the external individuals may be perceived as being paternalistic and maybe even wrongfully violating the principle of non-interference by internal individuals. This has significant implications, especially because the exercise of authority is, by definition, related to the use of violence. Indeed, both of them are worthy being analysed, because while the forth represents a risk of paternalism and insensitivity, the third may be a case of manipulation.
Such an asymmetry requires regulating the interaction between internal and external individuals, and between internal individuals and their regime as well. A first question of investigation regards the elaboration of standards that rule out cases of manipulation. The question involves two different problems: first, what internal individuals can do to detect manipulation and, second, what external individuals can do to show internal individuals that they are being manipulated.
A second issue of investigation regards the risk of paternalism and insensitivity occurring when internal individuals consider their regime illegitimate, while the external individual argues for its legitimacy. Indeed, whatever is the mistake of the internal individual formulating her belief, she still perceives the authority as arbitrarily coercive. The first question to be addressed is whether any dispositive is available to object to the internal individual’s perspective, without ignoring her experience of being arbitrarily ruled. If the answer is positive, a second question to be addressed concerns how far the external individual can go in trying to convince an internal individual of the legitimacy of her regime.

Fachrichtungen

Political theory, philosophy

Forschungsschwerpunkte

political realism, political legitimacy, political progress

Biografische Angaben

I received my PhD in Political Studies from the University of Milan in 2018. My dissertation, entitled "Bulding legitimacy from individuals' beliefs: the role of symbols in evaluating political authority", focused on the elaboration of a normative notion of legitimacy grounded on bottom-up standards. Particular attention has been given to the notion of symbolic legitimacy, and the role of symbols in shaping the standards for evaluating political authority.
Previously, I was visiting PhD student at University College London. In 2014 I received a master´s degree in Philosophy from San Raffaele University (Milan), with a thesis on Reinhold Niebuhr and political realism. In 2012 I received a bachelor`s degree in Philosophy from the same university.

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