Legitimacy and the Cognitive Sources of International Institutional Change: The Case of Regional Parliamentarization
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17198
How and under what conditions does legitimacy affect processes of international institutional change? This article specifiesand evaluates three causal mechanisms by which variation in legitimacy induces institutional change in international organi-zations (IOs) and argues that an important, yet hitherto neglected, source of legitimacy-based change is cognitive in nature.Using survival analysis, we evaluate these mechanisms with a novel dataset on the establishment of parliamentary institutionsin thirty-six regional organizations between 1950 and 2010. We find that the empowerment of supranational secretariats, en-gagement with the European Union, and parliamentarization in an organization’s neighborhood increase the likelihood ofregional parliamentarization. This suggests that legitimacy judgments that draw on cognitive referents provide an importantsource of international institutional change. We illustrate the underlying cognitive emulation mechanism with a case study ofparliamentarization in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.