Authority in a Postnational Order

Ringvorlesung "Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Authority in the International System"

Prof. Michael Zürn
, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

20. November 2013, 18.15 Uhr
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 3



The Western notion of legitimate rule is strongly associated with democratic constitutionalism. What is needed is in this view a central place of final decisions and democratic procedures to control it. The political developments in the last three decades have undermined that significantly.
Democratic rule is increasingly replaced by numerous sites of authorities like central banks or international institutions that neither are able to make final decision nor can be described as democratic. Yet these authorities are often needed and trusted. This leads to a democratic paradox and to reflexive legitimacy the revival of contestation about the appropriate criteria for political legitimacy.

Michael Zürn is Director of the Research Unit “Global Governance’ at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and Professor for Political Science and International Relations at the Free University Berlin. He was founding Dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin (2004 – 2009) and is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science. He has published in journals like International Organization, World Politics, European Journal of International Relations and International Studies Quarterly. Among his most recent publications are Handbook on Multi-Level Governance, Edward Elgars Publishers, 2010 (edited together with Henrik Enderlein and Sonja Wälti); The Dynamics of the Rule of Law in an Era of International and Transnational Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2012 (edited together with Andre Nollkaemper and Randy Peerenboom); Can the Politicization of European Integration be Reversed? in: Journal of Common Market Studies, , 2012, 1:50, 137-153 (together with Pieter de Wilde); International authority and its politicization, in: International Theory, 2012, 4:1, 69–106 (together with Martin Binder, Matthias Ecker-Ehrhardt).

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