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Keely, Elise
Program Coordinator, AU Honors

Anderson Hall, Room 103

AU Honors 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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HNRS-200: What is Legitimate? (4 Credits)

This course helps students understand the social construction of legitimacy as a function of economic and cultural histories. It thus explores how and why different societies have either reached or failed to reach stable equilibria around questions of legitimacy. The course draws primarily on philosophical and sociological scholarship and comprises lectures, case-based debates, and basic training in social science research methods. Students experiment with interpretive, survey-based and experimental designs and also carry out their own research projects.

This class is taught in Fall 2019

Professor Daniel Esser

Professor Daniel Esser 
Department of International Service | SIS


To Contact Professor Esser

Send email to Daniel Esser
(202) 885-1892 (Office)
SIS-School of Intl Service
SIS - 221
Office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please sign up online; no walk-ins. 


I am currently working on a book on sociopolitical dynamics of legitimization in different world regions. This course is an opportunity for me to share my knowledge while also incorporating students' perspectives in the project. I am particularly excited about students developing their own research on legitimacy, and I look forward to helping them operationalize their ideas and learn from their findings.