A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?

Christopher Lord has written the chapter 'A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?' in a book that examines and evaluates the legitimation practices of international and regional organizations and their member states.

The book Legitimating International Organizations is edited by Dominik Zaum and appeared with Oxford University Press in 2013.

About the book

The legitimacy of international and regional organizations and their actions is frequently asserted and challenged by states and commentators alike. Their authorisations or conduct of military interventions, their structures of decision-making, and their involvement into what states deem to be domestic matters have all raised questions of legitimacy. As international organizations lack the coercive powers of states, legitimacy is also considered central to their ability to attain compliance with their decisions.

Despite the prominence of legitimacy talk around international organizations, little attention has been paid to the practices and processes through which such organizations and their member states justify the authority these organizations exercise - how they legitimise themselves both vis-à-vis their own members and external audiences. This book addresses this gap by comparing and evaluating the legitimation practices of a range of international and regional organizations. It examines the practices through which such organizations justify and communicate their legitimacy claims, and how these practices differ between organizations. In exploring the specific legitimation practices of international organizations, this book analyses the extent to which such practices are shaped by the structure of the different organizations, by the distinct normative environments within which they operate, and by the character of the audiences of their legitimacy claims. It also considers the implications of this analysis for global and regional governance.

A European Re-invention of Indirect Democracy?

Christopher Lord in his chapter focuses on the role of member states in the legitimation of the EU. He compares the justifications put by the French and British governments to their own populations for the organization's powers and for their own participation in the Union. Taking on arguments in the literature that the legitimation of the EU has been predominantly affected by its rules and decisions (i.e. through direct elections, as to the European Parliament), Lord shows that both Britain and France relied on a hybrid of direct and indirect legitimacy claims when defending the ultimately ill-fated Constitutional Treaty to their respective publics. Furthermore, he shows how both the study and practice of legitimation of the EU has given rise to a hybrid form of indirect legitimacy that emphasizes the strengthening of democratic mechanisms at the domestic level to establish greater control and accountability over supranational EU institutions.

Full info

Christopher Lord
'A European Re-invention of Indirect Legitimacy?'

In: Legitimating International Organizations
Dominik Zaum (ed.)

Oxford University Press, 2013
ISBN: 9780199672097

Published Jan. 21, 2014 2:52 PM - Last modified Jan. 21, 2014 3:13 PM