Accountability and Legitimacy-Authority Tension in Global Governance

in World Rule

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226450988
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226450964 | DOI:
Accountability and Legitimacy-Authority Tension in Global Governance

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This chapter serves as the foundation for the empirical investigation, establishing the theoretical prism through which observations are interpreted. The variations in the structure, rulemaking process, and adherence regimes of the twenty-five governance organizations studied can be understood as responses to the accountability challenge and legitimacy-authority tension described here. The theoretical foundation is laid out in three sections. First, the concept of accountability receives special attention. An inventory of accountability concepts is offered, grouped into five broad categories: transparency, liability, controllability, responsibility, and responsiveness. The second section focuses directly on the concepts of legitimacy and authority for which accountability is pivotal. Finally, the conclusion emphasizes the distinctiveness of the challenge faced by global governance organizations.

Keywords: governance organizations; accountability; legitimacy; transparency; liability; controllability; responsibility; responsiveness; authority; rulemaking

Chapter.  15034 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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