Dimensions of Legitimacy: Evaluating the Contact Group

Prof. William Smith, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

This analytical paper explores the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia from the perspective of its claims to legitimacy. Legitimacy is associated with those properties of an organization that render it an authoritative source of rules, decisions, or recommendations. The paper explores the following three questions: (1) Is the concept of legitimacy relevant to the Contact Group? (2) Which properties should we look at to measure its legitimacy? (3) Are any reforms necessary to enhance its claims to legitimacy? The paper concludes that the Contact Group has significant achievements as a governance body, but identifies several shortcomings that should be addressed to enhance its legitimacy claims. Read the full paper here: Dimensions of Legitimacy: Evaluating the Contact Group

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