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International Organizations under PressureLegitimating Global Governance in Challenging Times$
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Klaus Dingwerth, Antonia Witt, Ina Lehmann, Ellen Reichel, and Tobias Weise

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198837893

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837893.001.0001

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The Involuntary Watchdog

The Involuntary Watchdog

Legitimating the International Atomic Energy Agency

Chapter:
(p.130) 5 The Involuntary Watchdog
Source:
International Organizations under Pressure
Author(s):

Tobias Weise

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198837893.003.0005

The chapter reconstructs the ways in which the legitimacy standards applied to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have changed since the 1970s. While these standards remain more stable than in other cases we study, two normative developments are noteworthy. First, the nuclear accident in Chernobyl in 1986 meant that the safety pillar gained relevance not only in the policies but also in the legitimation of the Agency. Second, after the verification pillar was strengthened and then politicized in the wake of a post-Cold War expansion of the Agency’s authority, the organization sought to depoliticize and stress the development component of its work. Analytically, the relative stability of the IAEA’s legitimation discourse in a highly turbulent political environment lends support to the idea that field-specific legitimation cultures matter, and that international security governance remains more stable than most other fields.

Keywords:   International Atomic Energy Agency, legitimacy, legitimation, international norms, nuclear safety, nuclear proliferation, politicization

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