This introductory chapter establishes the four-part agenda. First, it adds to the understanding of international legitimacy by tracing its normative sources. Secondly, it contributes to the IR literature on norms, and their importance. Thirdly, it sheds further light on the historical evolution of international society. Finally, it provides a way of making the concept of world society more accessible. The introduction poses the key puzzling question: why does international society buy into human rights norms in the first place? It sketches the outline answer that this occurs in response to both world society action and world society claims; there is simultaneously a political and a normative process at work.
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