chapter  9
24 Pages

The duality of the legitimacy of global actors in the international legal order: Jean d’Aspremont and Eric de Brabandere

Global governance rests on the exercise of power by a myriad of actors. In the international order, the more powers and influence these authorities acquire, the more their legitimacy proves to be a matter of controversy. The legitimacy of international, regional and domestic actors that partake in global governance – those that we consider here as global actors – must be appraised from a twofold standpoint. Their legitimacy can first be gauged through the lens of the origin of their powers (‘the legitimacy of origin’). The origin of the power may often prove an insufficient indicator of an actor’s legitimacy. For this reason, legitimacy can also be evaluated in the light of the way in which it exercises its power (‘the legitimacy of exercise’). This chapter argues that failing to recognize this dual character of legitimacy of actors involved in global and regional governance undermines any endeavour to grasp the contemporary complexity of the latter.