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Rethinking Private AuthorityAgents and Entrepreneurs in Global Environmental Governance$
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Jessica F. Green

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157580

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157580.001.0001

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A Theory of Private Authority

A Theory of Private Authority

(p.26) Chapter One A Theory of Private Authority
Rethinking Private Authority

Jessica F. Green

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes a theory of private authority, based on the notion of supply and demand, that explains when private authority emerges and why, and whether it is delegated or entrepreneurial. A theory of private authority contributes to larger discussions about institutional design and provides new insights into the mechanisms through which global cooperation might occur. The chapter first explains what authority is and why people obey it. It then defines private authority and examines its major characteristics, including why actors choose to consent to privately created rules. It argues that in contemporary politics expertise is a key engine for legitimacy and thus for consent, because it allows actors to provide benefits to others. The chapter proceeds by exploring delegated authority and entrepreneurial authority. Finally, it develops expectations about when private authority emerges in world politics—and what type of authority will likely develop.

Keywords:   private authority, institutional design, consent, expertise, legitimacy, delegated authority, entrepreneurial authority, world politics, supply and demand

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