Chapter 42: Legitimacy
Restricted access

This chapter reconstructs legitimacy as a fundamental concept in international legal thought. In our discussion, we identify four different ‘academic–political’ projects in which legitimacy fulfils a certain function: Thomas M. Franck’s attempt to combine a liberal sensitivity with the empirical rigor of American process approaches; Alan Buchanan’s project to ground legitimacy in liberal global governance institutions; the idea, in the aftermath of NATO’s Kosovo campaign, that interventions can be illegal but nevertheless legitimate; and finally Jutta Brunnée and Stephen M. Toope’s interactional account of international law and the idea of a genuine legal strand of legitimacy. We turn then to the productive or performative dimension of the concept, that is, from what ‘is’ legitimate towards what legitimacy ‘does’ as a concept in international legal thought. Legitimacy becomes then a reflexive concept through which lawyers are able to observe themselves in their context, evaluate their practices and reflect upon their discipline.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account