The Leibniz Association is funding a five-year Junior Research Group on “Sources and Consequences of Legitimation Strategies of Regional Organizations” (LegRO) at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg.
The Research Group seeks to map and explain the sources and consequences of legitimation strategies in regional organizations over time. It studies (1) how state representatives and regional organization bureaucrats justify an organization’s right to rule to relevant internal and external audiences; (2) why such discursive legitimation strategies may change over time and vary across organizations; and (3) whether and how they are related to institutional legitimation strategies. The Group’s research agenda consists of a quantitative component that aims to map and explain basic patterns in the discursive and institutional legitimation strategies of 29 regional organizations worldwide in the period from 1980 to 2019 and several qualitative components that seek to identify the causal mechanisms and political dynamics of legitimation and delegitimation in regional organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Publications from this research project include:
- Schmidtke, Henning, and Tobias Lenz (forthcoming): “Expanding or Defending Legitimacy? Why International Organizations Intensify Self-legitimation,” Review of International Organizations.
- Schmidtke, Henning, Swantje Schirmer, Niklas Krösche, and Tobias Lenz (2023): “The Legitimation of International Organizations: Introducing a New Dataset,” International Studies Perspectives, online first, Doi: 10.1093/isp/ekad008 [open access].
- Lenz, Tobias, and Fredrik Söderbaum (2023): “The Origins of Legitimation Strategies in International Organizations: Agents, Audiences and Environments,” International Affairs 99(3), 899-920 [open access].
- Lenz, Tobias, and Henning Schmidtke (2023): “Agents, Audiences, and Peers: Why International Organizations Diversify their Discursive Legitimation,” International Affairs 99(3), 921-940 [open access].
- Iroulo, Lynda C. and Tobias Lenz (2022): “Global Theories of Regionalism,” In Jürgen Rüland and Astrid Carrapatoso (eds.) Handbook on Global Governance and Regionalism. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 36–51.
Some working papers in this project are the following:
- “The democratic self-legitimation of international organizations.” With Henning Schmidtke. Last presented at ISA 2023.
- “Institutional overlap and the legitimation of international organizations.” With Swantje Schirmer and Henning Schmidtke.