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Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs$
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Richard Falk, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Vesselin Popovski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199781577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199781577.001.0001

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Legality and Legitimacy: The Environmental Challenge

Legality and Legitimacy: The Environmental Challenge

Chapter:
(p.365) 12 Legality and Legitimacy: The Environmental Challenge
Source:
Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs
Author(s):

Lorraine Elliott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199781577.003.0012

The current world order is characterized by continuing loss of ecological services, a paucity of global spending on sustainable development and a disproportionate environmental impact on those who are already marginalized. These features raise doubts about both the adequacy and the legitimacy of the rule systems and institutions of global environmental governance. This chapter explores the tension between legality and legitimacy in the global politics of the environment through three over-lapping sites of debate: sovereign authority; rightful membership of the global political community; and the nature of procedures, norms and performance. It concludes that both the legality and legitimacy of environmental institutions and practices rest not just on performance and effectiveness but also on both particular and general notions of consent.

Keywords:   sustainable development, global environmental governance, consent, rule systems, sovereign authority

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