The current volume brings together a number of papers that were initially presented at the Conference, organised between the 23rd to the 25th of November 2006, by the “Tudor Vianu” Interdisciplinary Centre of European and Romanian Cultural Studies – an academic research unit of the University of Bucharest.
I organised this Conference together with my former Faculty of Letters’ student, Christian Moraru, currently Professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. It was he that suggested the title for this Conference: Legitimating Cultures, Cultures of Legitimacy.
Out of sixty papers given, forty-eight were presented by Romanian researchers from Bucharest as well as other Romanian academic centres, and twelve by colleagues from Germany, Great Britain, the US and Australia. The Conference participants numbered undergraduate and post°graduate students, professors and other Romanian cultural personalities from the capital city of Bucharest. In the interval that has elapsed since the event some of the papers have been published elsewhere.
I have now structured the papers into four sections: the first is dedicated to the keynote speakers’ interventions, whereas the second contains the way in which a number of important authors conceived legitimacy. The third section deals with the forms and ways in which legitimacy manifests itself within the area of culture – which includes the relationships legitimacy entertains with authority, canonicity, validity, authenticity etc. The final one focuses on instances of legitimisation or false legitimisation in Romanian culture.
The diversity of approaches undertaken in this issue will, I hope, give a fair account of the multidisciplinary dimensions of legitimacy and thus contribute to bridging the rather narrow interpretations of this concept or even preconceived ideas about it.
There cannot be a single legitimacy, i.e. the one which is instrumental to the sociological and political theory fields. It was one of our conference objectives, as well as of the current Euresis issue, to prove this.