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In this working paper, we treat legitimacy and legitimation as interactive, discursive and relational concepts: Legitimacy is socially constructed in the public spheres of (democratic) political regimes, that is, in discursive exchanges of political elites and citizens about the acceptability of these regimes. Legitimacy claims and assessments establish a link between regimes and their institutions on the one hand, and normative benchmarks on the other. Hence they may be examined with the helpdoi:10.2139/ssrn.2349667 fatcat:7y7g6o3qnfdihnmjmuhbcxpwaq