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This paper highlights the importance of endogenous changes in the foundations of legitimacy for political regimes. It focuses on the central role of legitimacy changes in the rise of constitutional monarchy in England. It first defines legitimacy and briefly elaborates a theoretical framework enabling a historical study of this unobservable variable. It proceeds to substantiate that the low-legitimacy, post-Reformation Tudor monarchs of the 16th century promoted Parliament to enhance their legitimacy, thereby changing the legislative process from the “Crown and Parliament” to the “Crown in Parliament” that still prevails in England.


ESI Working Paper 23-01



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