Ph.D.-course on the legitimacy of international law and international institutions - Reading list by topic

I. In medias res: International institutions facing a contemporary legitimacy crisis

Background material will be provided in advance of the course

II. General overview: The relationship between law, political science, and philosophy

- Bodansky, Daniel. 2013. "Legitimacy in International Law and International Relations." In Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Law and International Relations: The State of the Art, edited by Jeffrey Dunoff and Mark Pollack, 321-342. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press . (22 p)

- Ratner, Steven. "International Law and Political Philosophy: Uncovering New Linkages." Philosophy Compass 14, no. 2 (2019): N/a. (12 p)

- Pavel, Carmen E., and David Lefkowitz. "Skeptical Challenges to International Law." Philosophy Compass 13, no. 8 (2018): N/a. (14 p)

III. Perspectives on legitimacy from political science – an introduction

- Hurd, Ian. 1999. "Legitimacy and authority in international politics."  International Organization 53 (2):379-408. (30 p)

IV. Perspectives on legitimacy from law – an introduction

- Waldron, Jeremy. The concept and the rule of law, Georgia Law Review, 43 (2008), parts II, III, V, and VII only (31 p)

- Bodansky, Daniel 2013. Same text as for topic II

- Franck, Thomas. The Power of Legitimacy and the Legitimacy of Power: International Law in an Age of Power Disequilibrium, AJIL vol. 100 No. 1 (Jan., 2006), pp. 88-106 (19 p)

V. Perspectives on legitimacy from philosophy  – an introduction

- Buchanan, Allen, and Robert Keohane. 2006. "The Legitimacy of Global Governance Institutions."  Ethics and International Affairs 20 (4):405-437. (33 p)

- Føllesdal, A. “Survey Article: The Legitimacy of International Courts”, The Journal of Political Philosophy (2020), early view (24 p)

VI. Justice, relativism and universalism in human rights

- Zoepf, Katherine. ‘Talk of Human Rights Divides Saudi Arabia,’ The New York Times, May 31, 2010.

- Rachels, James. The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, in Rachels, James, and Rachels, Stuart. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. 7th Ed. by Stuart Rachels. ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. (18 p)

VII. Institutional design and the legitimacy of international courts

- Dunnof, Jeffrey L. and Mark A. Pollack (2017) “The Judicial Trilemma”. American Journal of International Law, 111:2, pp. 225-276 (52 p)

- Øyvind Stiansen, Erik Voeten, Backlash and Judicial Restraint: Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights, International Studies Quarterly, Volume 64, Issue 4, December 2020, Pages 770–784 (15 p)

VIII. Judges in international courts: Selection, performance, diversity

- Olof Larsson, Theresa Squatrito, Øyvind Stiansen, and Taylor St John, ‘Selection and Appointment in International Adjudication: Insights from Political Science’, Academic Forum on ISDS Concept Paper 2019/10, 17 September 2019. (38 p)

- Hermansen, Silje Synnove Lyder and Daniel Naurin (2020) ”Holding Judges To Account: Policy, Performance and Impartiality”, unpublished manuscript.  (?? p)

IX. Subsidiarity

- Carozza, PG (2016). "The Problematic Applicability of Subsidiarity to International Law and Institutions." American Journal of Jurisprudence: 1-17. (17p)

- Follesdal, A (2014). "Subsidiarity and the global order". Global Perspectives on Subsidiarity. A Zimmermann & M Evans. Dordrecht, Springer: 207-220 (14 p)

X. Legitimation strategies of international institutions

- Gronau, Jennifer, and Henning Schmidtke. 2016. "The quest for legitimacy in world politics – international institutions’ legitimation strategies."  Review of International Studies 42 (3):535-557. (23 p)

- Tallberg, Jonas, and Michael Zürn. 2019. "The legitimacy and legitimation of international organizations: introduction and framework."  The Review of International Organizations 14 (4):581-606. (26 p)

XI. Legitimacy and interpretative methodology

- Pauwelyn , J. and M. Elsig (2013). The Politics of Treaty Interpretation: Variations and Explanations across International Tribunals. Interdisciplinary perspectives on international law and international relations: the state of the art. J. L. Dunoff and M. A. Pollack. Cambridge, Cambridge university press: 445-477. (33p)

XII. Democracy and state consent

- Follesdal, A (2018). "Constitutionalization, not democratization: how to assess the legitimacy of international courts". The legitimacy of international courts N Grossman, H Cohen, A Follesdal & G Ulfstein. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 307-337. (31 p)

-Pavel, Carmen. Divided Sovereignty: International Institutions and the Limits of State Authority, OUP 2015, Ch. 2, p 37-44. (8 p)

XIII. Interdisciplinary research on legitimacy: A panel discussion. (Students choose one of the listed texts)

- Langvatn, Silje Aambo, and Theresa Squatrito. 2017. "Conceptualizing and Measuring the Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals." In The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals, edited by Nobuo Hayashi and Cecilia Bailliet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (25 p)

- Ratner, Steven R. "Survey Article: Global Investment Rules as a Site for Moral Inquiry." Journal of Political Philosophy 27, no. 1 (2019): 107-135. (29 p)

- Song, Jiewuh. "Pirates and Torturers: Universal Jurisdiction as Enforcement Gap‐Filling." Journal of Political Philosophy 23, no. 4 (2015): 471-90. (20 p)


A list of supplementary recommended readings will be made available to the participants in advance of the course.

Published Jan. 13, 2022 10:35 AM - Last modified Jan. 13, 2022 10:41 AM