Moreover, any chance encounters with intellectual or cultural insights that might enable the "law" of the academy to recognize its own violent character, and its tendencies to rationalization and legitimation, are immediately judged to be "external" to law or are otherwise slated for destruction.
Ironically, despite the constricted form of thought produced through this legitimation strategy of constrain and control, there is one aspect in which it knows no limits, no restraint at all: that is in the unfettered attempt to dissect and differentiate its own minute contributions to the edifice of law into even tinier analytical pieces.
Not surprisingly, with the moral stakes so high, the legal thinker in the grips of this kind of legitimation strategy tends to worry a lot.
Barker devotes a chapter to each of three levels of political relations in which legitimation can be seen to occur: rulers legitimate themselves to themselves; they legitimate themselves to their peers and close subordinates; and they legitimate themselves to their subjects.
Legitimation here refers to the things that rulers actually do; Barker is looking at politics as a domain of human practices, and by and large steers clear of prescriptive statements.