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    Legitimacy of Institutions for Conflict Resolution: an Introduction

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    A key aspect of institutions for conflict resolution is their legitimacy. What legitimacy entails, however, is essentially contested and depends in part on whether one takes a legal, normative, or social perspective. The current special issue aims to gain a better understanding of legitimacy within the context of institutions for conflict resolution by examining (1) whether and, if so, how studying institutions for conflict resolution through the lens of legitimacy can deepen our understanding of these institutions, and (2) whether and, if so, how studying legitimacy in the specific context of institutions for conflict resolution can enrich our understanding of legitimacy. After introducing the term ‘institutions for conflict resolution’ and detailing current approaches to legitimacy, this Introduction assesses what the potential cross-fertilisation between both concepts may look like. We do so based on the papers included in this special issue, which showcase the diversity of ways in which legitimacy of institutions for conflict resolution may be researched, as they focus on different types of conflicts that take place within different fields of law and involve different kinds of institutions. Finally, we take stock of the insights yielded by the papers included in this issue, and reflect on directions for further research on legitimacy, institutions for conflict resolution, and their cross-fertilisation
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