Legitimacy Norms as Change Agents: Examining the Role of the Public Voice

Andrew Joseph Loomis

in Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199781577
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932887 | DOI:
Legitimacy Norms as Change Agents: Examining the Role of the Public Voice

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The specifics of how legitimacy considerations work their way into international political dynamics are poorly understood, despite the frequency with which the legitimacy concept is invoked. Accounts in the literature of the effect of legitimacy perceptions on political maneuvering usually focus on the judgments of policy elites, which, for reasons advanced here, understate the extent to which normative legitimacy exerts itself on international outcomes. The legitimacy evaluations of the /public/, however, which are then activated through the public-elite axis in the domestic sphere, have a profound impact on the character of international politics. Inspecting the role of the public voice in legitimacy considerations provides a deeper understanding of the interaction between legitimacy and the restraining effects of legality, and generates insights into the dynamic of change in international politics.

Keywords: legitimacy; international relations; legality; public voice; elites; normative structure; politics; stability; change; constitutionality; humanitarian intervention; human rights; Kosovo; sovereignty

Chapter.  9251 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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