1st Edition

Power, Legitimacy, and World Order Changing Contours of Preconditions and Perspectives

Edited By Sanjay Pulipaka, Krishnan Srinivasan, James Mayall Copyright 2023
    256 Pages
    by Routledge India

    256 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book reflects on the reasons for the decline of international cooperation in world politics and studies ways to restore legitimacy in the international order. It engages with the concept of legitimacy in international relations theories and practices to examine the discussions around power shifts, the decline of liberalism, demands for inclusive international architectures, and challenges to multilateralism, as well as established norms by leaders and nationalisms. It studies the impact of the post-COVID-19 world order on the nature of power in the international system and changes in normative concerns of security. The volume also interrogates political legitimacy through an area studies lens by examining the concept of legitimacy separately in the USA, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

    An important and timely text featuring contributions from eminent scholars, this book will be of use to students and researchers of modern history, political science, and international relations. It will also be of interest to think tanks and policy-making bodies concerned with international affairs and foreign policy.

    List of Contributors




    1 Introduction: Power, Legitimacy, and World Order

    Krishnan Srinivasan

    2 Power, Authority, and Shifting Sands of the Legitimacy

    Sanjay Pulipaka

    3 The View from the United Nations

    Mats Berdal and James Mayall

    4 From Taboo to Legality: Human Rights and the United Nations

    Radhika Coomaraswamy

    5 Domestic Politics, External Engagement, and Legitimacy: A Perspective from the US

    A. Peter Burleigh

    6 The Shifting Grounds of Power and Legitimacy in the European Union

    Fredrik Erixon

    7 Is the Putin System Partially Legitimate?

    Julius George Stephen Fein

    8 Power and Legitimacy in the People’s Republic of China

    Michael Puett

    9 Legitimacy and “A Global Community of Shared Future”

    Wang Yiwei

    10 Tribalism and the Limits of Liberalism: A (Conservative) Japanese Perspective on Legitimacy in World Politics

    Tadashi Anno

    11 Autocracy, Institutional Weakness, and Latin American Concept of Legitimacy

    Deepak Bhojwani

    12 Power and Legitimacy: A 21st-Century Perspective on Africa

    Rajiv Bhatia

    13 Authoritarianism, Resistance, and Legitimacy in the West Asian Political Order

    Talmiz Ahmad

    14 Power and Legitimacy in Pakistan and Bangladesh: To Be Muslim or Islamic?

    Kingshuk Chatterjee and Devadeep Purohit

    15 Interrogating Power and Legitimacy in the Information Age from an Indian Perspective

    Pranay Kotasthane and Nitin Pai

    16 Legitimacy, Political Power, and Tibetan Buddhism

    Jigme Yeshe Lama

    17 In Search of Legitimacy: The ASEAN Way

    Preeti Saran


    Sanjay Pulipaka is the Chairperson of the Politeia Research Foundation. He was previously a Senior Fellow for Research Programmes and Strategic Neighbourhood at the Delhi Policy Group; Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library; and Senior Consultant at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). He was also a Pavate Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and a former Fulbright Fellow in the Conflict Transformation Programme.

    Krishnan Srinivasan is a former Indian Foreign Secretary and Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge, Leiden, and Uppsala and has published or edited eight works on international relations.

    James Mayall is Emeritus Professor of International Relations and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the LSE. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. He has published widely on the international relations of African states, North–South relations, international theory, and the impact of nationalism on international relations.

    “The current fragility of institutional legitimacy at every level of social organization is no secret. This important volume addresses the growing crisis of legitimacy in international politics and emphasizes the need to focus on (re)building legitimacy if humanity is going to successfully face current threats such as global climate change and rising authoritarianism.”

    Jayne Seminare Docherty, Professor Emeritus, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University


    “A most valuable compilation of thought-provoking and richly resourced essays examining the state of disorder and inequality in the world today. Very often there is a disconnect between power and legitimacy, both domestic and international. The emphasis on the concept of legitimacy brought out in the volume is timely and needs to be recognised by those in power.”

    Chinmaya R Gharekhan, former Indian ambassador and United Nations Under-Secretary-General


    “Recent developments reinforce the pitfalls of approaching international politics and international economics in silos. The blatant and increasing deployment of crude political power is undermining the legitimacy of many global institutional and trade frameworks. This volume unpacks the challenges of legitimacy that confront global governance frameworks. The excellent essays demonstrate that legitimacy and credibility of global economic architecture can be strengthened by fortifying principles such as transparency, reciprocity, fairness and equity.”

    Rajat Kathuria, Dean, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Professor of Economics, Shiv Nadar University


    “In this timely, valuable collection a formidable team of analysts examine, in all of their complexity, two concepts – power and legitimacy – that are crucial in world affairs. Diverse regions are assessed from a refreshing diversity of perspectives which take the analysis beyond conventional western perceptions.”

    James Manor, Emeka Anyaoku Professor, School of Advanced Study, University of London


    “This excellent, insightful and occasionally provocative volume on Power, Legitimacy, and the World Order merits careful study among policymakers and within global institutions. Its strength lies in its capacity to capture the contested nature of the concept and application of legitimacy. It should inspire serious debate on the legitimacy of a world order which is undergoing seismic changes.”

    Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka


    “This volume views today’s world order – or, more accurately, crisis, disorder and fragmentation – through the prism of 'power' and 'legitimacy' and their interaction. The book’s core strength is that it unpacks 'legitimacy' from a diverse range of intellectual and geographical perspectives. The Western vision of world order, based on liberal democracy at home, and US power and Western-shaped multilateral institutions abroad, is contested more than at any time since the end of the Second World War – and not only by China. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have widened this legitimacy divide and further fragmented the world order. This volume helps us to understand these megatrends and navigate our way through an ever more uncertain future.”

    Razeen Sally, Former Professor of International Political Economy at the London School of Economics and the National University of Singapore