As already noted, there has been a huge expansion of research into legitimacy at the international level since the first edition of the book, which raises some intriguing new questions. Research into inter-governmental organisations and international NGOs (nongovernmental organisations, perhaps more properly termed ‘civil society organisations’) poses the question of the role of legitimacy in authority systems which possess only limited powers of enforcement, as well as how their legitimacy should be analysed and who the different audiences for their legitimacy claims may be. The legitimacy of the European Union has regularly been contested, and its basis has been a source of puzzlement for academics and practitioners alike. And the legitimacy crisis of the international financial sector has shown what happens when a crisis is not followed by proportionate acts of retribution and delegitimation, but becomes displaced onto a different set of authorities, in this case democratically elected governments. These issues and examples are considered in turn.
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