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The Legitimacy and Legitimation of International Organizations: Introduction and Framework

62 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2017  

Jonas Tallberg

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science

Michael Zürn

Independent

Date Written: February 9, 2017

Abstract

While legitimacy dynamics are paramount in global governance, they have been insufficiently recognized, conceptualized, and explained in standard accounts of international cooperation. This special issue aims to spearhead the empirical study of legitimacy and legitimation in global governance. It addresses the overarching question of when, how, and why international organizations (IOs) gain, sustain, and lose legitimacy in world politics. It engages with this question comparatively, mapping and explaining patterns in legitimacy and legitimation across multiple dimensions. In this introduction, we first conceptualize legitimacy as the belief that an IO’s authority is appropriately exercised, and legitimation and delegitimation as processes of justification and contestation intended to shape such beliefs. We then theorize sources of variation in legitimation processes and legitimacy beliefs, with a particular focus on the authority, procedures, and performances of IOs. Finally, we describe the methods used to empirically study legitimacy and legitimation, and preview the articles of the special issue in the context of the broader research problems they address.

Keywords: Legitimacy; Legitimation; International Organization; International Institution; Public Opinion

Suggested Citation

Tallberg, Jonas and Zürn, Michael, The Legitimacy and Legitimation of International Organizations: Introduction and Framework (February 9, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3060204

Jonas Tallberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Michael Zürn

Independent

No Address Available

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