Legality and Legitimacy of Exporting Democracy

Daniele Archibugi and Mariano Croce

in Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199781577
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932887 | DOI:
Legality and Legitimacy of Exporting Democracy

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The George W. Bush jr administration explicitly declared its aim to spread democracy militarily. Is such an intention legal under current international law, norms and institutions? If one proves it to be at odds with the criterion of legality – since it clearly contradicts one of the main pillars of the UN Charter, i.e. the principle of non-interference –, can it be justified with recourse to the concept of legitimacy? We offer some paradigmatic insights into the concepts of legality and legitimacy, mainly developed for the internal context. With the tools of political theory we try to investigate whether there is any room for a different interpretation about exporting democracy or any need to reform international law. Finally, we discuss the methods used for exporting democracy, so as to argue that the issue of its legality and legitimacy cannot be assessed without taking into consideration the means employed.

Keywords: legality; legitimacy; international law; democracy; cosmopolitan democracy; economic sanctions

Chapter.  12130 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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