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A Theory of Global Governance – Authority, Legitimacy, and Contestation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Theory of Global Governance: Authority, Legitimacy, and Contestation

Michael Zürn


This book offers a major new theory of global governance, explaining both its rise and what many see as its current crisis. The author suggests that world politics is now embedded in a normative and institutional structure dominated by hierarchies and power inequalities and therefore inherently creates contestation, resistance, and distributional struggles. Within an ambitious and systematic new conceptual framework, the theory makes four key contributions. First, it reconstructs global governance as a political system which builds on normative principles and reflexive authorities. Second, it ... More

Keywords: global governance, authority, legitimacy, politicization, counter-institutionalization, historical institutionalism, institutionalized inequality, reactive sequences, global political system, hierarchy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198819974
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198819974.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Zürn, author
Director of the Research Unit 'Global Governance' at the WZB and Professor of International Relations at the Free University of Berlin