Four paths instead of one: The rise of people-centred norms in the legitimation of global governance organizations

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract In legitimating themselves, international organizations not only address their member states. They frequently target civil society organizations, private donors, the wider public, and individual beneficiaries as well. In this paper, we focus on the latter group and show how international organizations have increasingly come to invoke “the people” as a reference group for their legitimacy claims. Conventional explanations would interpret references to “the people” as the response to societal demands, expressed for instance in increasing levels of politicization of internationalized authority. Our analysis of legitimation discourses of regional and global international organizations shows that politicization matters in some cases. Yet, the direct response to public demands is only one among several paths leading to the adoption of new legitimacy standards. We propose a typology of four different paths to people-based norms and provide illustrations for each path. With this, we demonstrate that empirically, the rise of people-based norms is more pervasive as well as more diverse than the existing literature tends to assume. Our analysis thus reveals the value-added of more fine-grained analytical tools for the rise of alternative legitimacy norms for international organizations.
Authors Dingwerth, Klaus & Witt, Antonia
Language English
Subjects political science
HSG Classification contribution to practical use / society
HSG Profile Area SEPS - Global Democratic Governance
Date 15 September 2021
Event Title DVPW-Kongresse 2021
Event Location Online
Event Dates 14.-06.09.2021
Depositing User Cornelia Kappeler
Date Deposited 14 Oct 2021 11:29
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:46


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Dingwerth, Klaus & Witt, Antonia: Four paths instead of one: The rise of people-centred norms in the legitimation of global governance organizations. 2021. - DVPW-Kongresse 2021. - Online.

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