Strategic Foresight

Reports and papers

The legitimacy of transnational governance: a framework for analysis

01 Aug 2014 - 16:29

Traditional multilateral bodies increasingly lack the ability to effectively address transboundary policy problems, such as climate change, migration and finance.

As a result, new forms of transnational governance have emerged that may include non-state and sub-state actors or be ad-hoc coalitions. They are established to target a specific policy challenge or provide a more informal means of international cooperation. It can be questioned how legitimate such new forms of transnational governance are since they dilute the one state-one vote principle underlining the traditional UN-based system.

This conceptual framework paper lays out the major challenges in this regard and identifies five prisms for analysing the democratic legitimacy of transnational governance: representation, accountability, transparency, effectiveness and deliberation.

This paper is part of a project on the legitimacy of transnational governance, jointly carried out by Clingendael and The Hague Institute for Global Justice in 2012-2014.