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Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Governance: Discursive, Institutional, Behavioral

Chapter in book
Authors Fredrik Söderbaum
Karin Bäckstrand
Published in In J Tallberg, K Bäckstrand and J A Scholte(eds) Legitimacy in Global Governance: Sources, Processes, and Consequences
Pages 101-118
ISBN 9780198826873
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford
Publication year 2018
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Pages 101-118
Language en
Keywords legitimacy, legitimation, delegitimation, global governance, international organization, international institution, regional organization, regionalism
Subject categories Globalization Studies, Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


This chapter develops a comprehensive typology for empirical analysis of legitimation and delegitimation practices in global governance. The framework is novel in three respects. First, while earlier literature has primarily studied legitimation, this classification encompasses both legitimation and delegitimation practices. Second, while most previous research has examined top-down legitimation practices by global governance institutions and their member states, this typology includes also bottom-up legitimation and delegitimation practices from various societal actors. Third, the framework captures a full variety of legitimation and delegitimation practices, classified in the chapter as being discursive, institutional, and behavioral in character. The chapter further identifies factors that may prompt variation in the kinds of (de)legitimation practices that different actors might adopt.

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