Title

The legitimation of international organisations : examining the identity of the communities that grant legitimacy

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Review of International Studies

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Volume

37

Issue

5

First Page

2557

Last Page

2583

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

Legitimacy is commonly cited as one of three fundamental mechanisms of social control within both domestic politics and international society. However, despite growing attention to the legitimacy of global governance, little consideration has been given to the identity of the political communities that must grant legitimacy to an international organisation or to the conditions under which legitimacy is valuable for the functioning of that organisation. In raising and responding to these questions, this article rejects the argument that actors must gain legitimacy among all subject social constituencies within their political realm of action. Instead, the importance of legitimacy within a particular constituency is a variable. The article labels this variable a legitimacy nexus and outlines five factors that are hypothesised to contribute to calibrating a legitimacy nexus. The plausibility of the proposed schema is explored through discussion of the role of legitimacy in the trade regime and analysis of the origins of the International Labour Organization's anomalous tripartite representative structure.

DOI

10.1017/S026021051000166X

Language

English

Print ISSN

02602105

E-ISSN

14699044

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 British International Studies Association. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Symons, J. (2011). The legitimation of international organisations : examining the identity of the communities that grant legitimacy. Review of International Studies, 37(5), 2557-2583. doi: 10.1017/S026021051000166X

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