Institutional Alliances and Derivative Legitimacy

Part I of this Article describes global lawmaking and the legitimacy challenge. It provides a typology of IOs that develop norms. It explains that legitimacy is a subjective belief, but it provides objective paradigms for assessing legitimacy claims. It demonstrates how pursuing legitimacy according to one set of criteria can sacrifice legitimacy claims under another. It also examines the competition among IOs, the push for democratic norms, and the resulting need for stronger legitimacy claims. Part II explains linkage and accommodation and gives specific examples of where these phenomena work to garner more legitimacy for specific organizations and the soft and hard law that they develop. Part III outlines some of the positive and negative consequences of derivative legitimacy, including stronger legitimacy claims, marginalization of interests, entrenchment, new regime and forum shifting opportunities, and unique opportunities for abuse that these alliances create. Finally, Part IV argues that a derivative legitimacy analysis must focus on the relationship among the constituent IOs, and that the best paradigm to do so is a process-based paradigm.