Antoinette Scherz

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Antoinette Scherz
Home Postdoctoral Fellowship ProgrammeFellows 2014/2015Antoinette Scherz

Antoinette Scherz

Research topic

The Concept and Standards of International Legitimacy: An Institutional Approach to Global Justice

Project outline

The legitimacy of international institutions has become an issue of growing importance as more and more states delegate competences to international institutions, where they are no longer under the direct control of their citizens. But when is an international institution legitimate and hence is worthy of support? The concept of domestic legitimacy being essentially tied to democracy cannot be transferred directly to the international realm. Therefore, a different, international concept of legitimacy that does not rely on a political nationalist conception of legitimacy is required.

The aim of my research project is twofold:

  1. the project focuses on the question of what concept of legitimacy is appropriate for international institutions. This is of particular relevance as most international institutions do not claim to govern in a strong sense and therefore a conception of legitimacy based on the justification of coercion is not appropriate. Furthermore, the relationship between state legitimacy and international institutions needs to be clarified.
  2. the project aims to develop graded standards of legitimacy for different international institutions, depending on their level of competences. These standards should not require democracy, but different levels of output, transparency, accountability and human rights promotion. By addressing these two questions, the project will provide the background against which the legitimacy of international institutions can be evaluated. 

Scholarly profile

Antoinette Scherz received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from the University of Zurich in 2014. Her thesis was titled » The Contribution of Normative Theory to the Institutional Design of Multilateral Democracy: An Evaluative Framework for the European Union «.  She remains with Justitia Amplificata. Starting in March 2015 she becomes a member of the permanent team as Research Fellow and member of the board.

Main areas of research

International political theory, institutional design, legitimacy, democratic theory and the concept of peoples

Selected publications

Scherz, Antoinette and Welge, Rebecca (2014), "Union Citizenship Revisited: Multilateral Democracy as Normative Standard for European Citizenship." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

“The Legitimacy of the Demos: Who Should Be Included in the Demos and on What Grounds?” Living Reviews in Democracy 4 (0) (2013).