These sets of ideals may be deceptive myths about political life or they may be realistic appraisals and sincere aspirations. But these always have the potential to capture popular imagination.
Ideas capable of rousing and inspiring men to action are thought to be related to their success. ‘Values of this kind, consisting of articulated ethical interpretations and principles that set forth the purposes, organisation and boundaries of political life are to be called ideologies.’
However all kinds of ideologies do not contribute to the growth or maintenance of legitimacy. For example, partisan ideology only serves to mobilize support for alternative contenders for political leadership or office. Those sets of beliefs that go to the heart of the regime are called legitimatsing ideologies.
The legitimacy resulting front an ideology or some ideological principles is called Ideological Legitimacy.
2. Structural Legitimacy:
The principles which motivate the members of a system to accept their authority-holders as legitimate can also contribute to the justification of structures and norms of regime. Every system has rules or norms through which authority is wielded and there are always some rules which govern the exercise of political power.
The fact of occupying these roles and of abiding by the rules applying to them normally places the seal of moral approval upon the authorities. This basis of validation of authority is called Structural Legitimacy.
Any measure taken to invest the authorities with greater acceptance because of their conformity with the regime serves to increase the legitimacy on their behalf.
3. Personal Legitimacy:
Where the behaviour and personalities of the occupants of authority roles are of dominating importance and if the members see the authorities as personally trustworthy, concerned and able to lead, the legitimacy of the authority is not denied.
It is called personal legitimacy. As a source of support, it flows from the estimate of personal qualities and worth of the authority-holders rather than only from the validity of their positions in the system or their compatibility with the ideological premises of the numbers.
When the source of legitimacy is the personal qualities of the authority holders it is called personal legitimacy. The legitimacy that the popular leaders are in a position to win for themselves, their offices/positions in the politics and their policies and programmes is called personal legitimacy.
It is legitimacy based on public esteem and support for the personal qualities of the authority-holders. In the Indian political system the qualities and charisma of the leader of every major political party always acts as a determinant of the success of a party in elections.
These are the three types of legitimacy. While analysing and measuring legitimacy one- has to take into account all these three types of legitimacy.