Constituent Power and the Legitimacy of International Organizations: The Constitution of Supranationalism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Constituent Power and the Legitimacy of International Organizations

The Constitution of Supranationalism, 1st Edition

By John G. Oates


186 pages

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Hardback: 9780367438289
pub: 2020-02-27
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This book develops a constitutional theory of international organization to explain the legitimation of supranational organizations.

Supranational organizations play a key role in contemporary global governance, but recent events like Brexit and the threat by South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court suggest that their legitimacy continues to generate contentious debates in many countries. Rethinking international organization as a constitutional problem, Oates argues that it is the representation of the constituent power of a constitutional order, that is, the collective subject in whose name authority is wielded, which explains the legitimation of supranational authority. Comparing the cases of the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and the International Criminal Court, Oates shows that the constitution of supranationalism is far from a functional response to the pressures of interdependence but a value-laden struggle to define the proper subject of global governance.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars of international organization and those working in the broader fields of global governance and general International Relations theory. It should also be of interest to international legal scholars, particularly those focused on questions related to global constitutionalism.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction: From Contracts to Constitutions

Chapter 2 – A Constitutional Theory of Supranationalism

Chapter 3 – A Community of Fate: Supranationalism and the Origins of European Integration

Chapter 4 – From States to Industry: Neoliberalism, Supranationalism and the WTO

Chapter 5 – The Conscience of all Nations of the World: the Founding of the ICC

Chapter 6 – Conclusion: The Future of Supranationalism and International Authority

About the Author

John G. Oates is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University. He received his PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University, and has published articles in Review of International Studies, Journal of International Relations and Development, and Journal of International Political Theory. His research examines the dynamics of authority and legitimacy in global governance, with a particular focus on the origins of supranational institutions. He also has interests in normative international theory, social theory, and international law.

About the Series

Global Governance

Global Governance

Global Governance

Series Editor: John J. Kirton, University of Toronto, Canada

Global governance is growing rapidly to meet the compounding challenges of a globalized 21st-century world. Many issues once dealt with largely at the local, national or regional level are now going global, in the economic, social and political-security domains. In response, new and renewed intergovernmental institutions are arising and adapting, multilevel governance is expanding, and sub-national actors are playing a greater role, and create complex combinations and private-partnerships to this end.

This series focuses on the new dynamics of global governance in the 21st century by:

  • Addressing the changes in the structure, operation and impact of individual intergovernmental institutions, above all their innovative responses to the growing global challenges they confront.
  • Exploring how they affect, are affected by and relate to non-state actors of global relevance and reach.
  • Examining the processes of cooperation, competition and convergence among international institutions and the many global governance gaps where global challenges such as terrorism, transnational crime and energy do not confront powerful international institutions devoted to their control.
  • Dealing with how global institutions govern the links among key issues such as climate change and health.

In all cases, it focuses on the central questions of how global governance institutions and processes generate the effective, legitimate, accountable results required to govern today’s interconnected, complex, uncertain and crisis-ridden world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General