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Combining normative analysis and theory-driven empirical research in a comparative framework, this volume clarifies and explains the connections between regional international governance, legitimacy and democracy. It focuses on the quality of democracy and the legitimacy of policy making in multilevel regional systems.

The volume offers a much-needed clarification of confusing concepts such as legitimacy, democracy and 'civil society' in non-national political systems. It critically assesses the quality of democracy and legitimacy within different Regional International Organizations (RIOs); it examines how networks of non-state actors become a kind of transnational civil society and assesses their potential for solving legitimacy deficits; and it investigates the impact of democratic conditionality in different RIOs.

The contributors deepen our understanding of a relatively new non-state actor on the international scene - the regional international organization - and investigate the potential contribution of transnational non-state actors to the quality of governance at the regional level.

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