Legitimating International Organization by Dominik Zaum

By Dominik Zaum

The legitimacy of foreign and local enterprises and their activities is usually asserted and challenged by way of states and commentators alike. Their authorisations or behavior of army interventions, their constructions of decision-making, and their involvement into what states deem to be household issues have all raised questions of legitimacy. As overseas companies lack the coercive powers of states, legitimacy can be thought of principal to their skill to achieve compliance with their judgements.

Despite the prominence of legitimacy speak round overseas corporations, little awareness has been paid to the practices and strategies wherein such corporations and their member states justify the authority those agencies workout - how they legitimise themselves either vis-a-vis their very own contributors and exterior audiences. This ebook addresses this hole by way of evaluating and comparing the legitimation practices of more than a few overseas and local businesses. It examines the practices by which such organizations justify and converse their legitimacy claims, and the way those practices range among businesses. In exploring the explicit legitimation practices of overseas organizations, this e-book analyses the level to which such practices are formed by means of the constitution of the various agencies, through the specific normative environments during which they function, and by means of the nature of the audiences in their legitimacy claims. It additionally considers the consequences of this research for international and nearby governance.

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This role of international organizations as a framework within which the character and rules of international and regional orders are contested is also reflected in other case studies, such as Ingo Peters’ analysis of the OSCE (Chapter 10), and Sarjoh Bah’s analysis of ECOWAS (Chapter 5). Bah’s chapter highlights how a need for legitimation arises from rapid social change. The military interventions by ECOWAS into the domestic affairs of some of its member states in the 1990s to address problems posed by civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone strongly challenged the legitimacy of the organization in the eyes of a number of its member states and states in the wider region not only because they lacked a mandate from the UN Security Council, but also because they were at odds with the traditional principle of non-intervention.

For those states concerned to protect and enhance sovereignty, the Security Council’s ‘coercive solidarism’,67 involving the Council ever deeper into the domestic affairs of its member states on the basis of a broadened understanding of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and the OSCE’s intrusive monitoring of elections, democracy promotion, and assistance to civil society, are eroding the legitimacy of these organizations. For those states supporting a more liberal interpretation of these organizations’ mandates, it is the failure to do more to challenge the sovereign prerogatives of states that threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the UNSC and OSCE.

Each one of the developments listed above may pose a challenge to its legitimacy. Let us consider two of them. Consider the rise of new great powers. These powers and their allies are making strong claims that the existing arrangement of the Security Council is illegitimate and that it ought to be reformed to include some of them as 14 An instance of the UN itself acknowledging this pressure is to be found in United Nations, A More Secure World—Our Shared Responsibility: Report of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Changes, UN doc.

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