When thinking about criminal justice and the state a very significant frame is that of legitimacy. Jean-Marc Coicaud defines legitimacy quite simple as the ‘right to govern’. It is about simultaneously justifying political power and obedience for Coicaud. But can we apply legitimacy thinking in other areas where the legitimate use of coercive force may not apply? With some modification, quite possibly. It might well be applicable to business, electoral politics and public services – especially welfare.