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Legitimation of EU Conflict Resolution: In Between Normative Criteria and Perceptions of Policy Subjects

Bilge Yabanci

The internationalisation of governance has intensified 'legitimacy talk' beyond domestic sphere. The EU, however,remains sterilised from a systematised assessment of its international legitimacy although the scope of conflictresolution policies can no longer be justified as an inward looking appreciation of normative power. Legitimacybecomes a complex phenomenon regarding policies of conflict resolution, which represents normative right towield political power as well as to influence the relevant constituency through cultivating belief in rightful exerciseof power. This paper aims to present the legitimacy problematique from an alternative point of view, namelythrough taking the concept back to its basics as the congruence between legal-substantial framework provided byinternational law and principles, processes of policy-making, as well as consent of the addressees as a social fact.It analyses Kosovo conflict where multidimensional conflict resolution policy of the EU provides fundamentalgrounds to assess various channels of legitimation. It is claimed that while the EU employs multiple legitimationstrategies, it cannot avoid oscillating between reappraisal and reinstatement of international legal framework andcreation of its own initiatives. The framework is so far inhibited by desultory record of accountable, coherent andparticipatory mechanisms and sends mixed signals to various local audiences.



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