Scattered acknowledgements by policymakers of legitimacy-related factors in the creation of the FSF and G-20, while significant, do not by themselves allow us to fully appreciate the analytic utility of the concept. Legitimacy has been the focus of some useful scholarly analysis that seeks to identify its main characteristics. I have sought to broaden existing scholarly analyses, which tend to be state centric or focused on domestic polities, to address international legitimacy, including the contribution to it of technical and private authority. By identifying the ways in which international legitimacy is produced we can better understand international governance and criticize its deficiencies. .
The type of legitimacy issues present in the creation of the FSF and G-20, unlike existing long-standing debates on the legitimacy of international law, signify the emergence of a more complex structure of authority in global finance. Interestingly, neither NGOs nor formal international organizations have played a significant role in their creation. A focus on legitimacy such as this essay's reveals an alternative way in which powerful states end up expanding representation and participation in governance. We are likely to see more of this as the world economy becomes more integrated and complex and the complications in managing it become more severe.
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