Environmental commitments and rhetoric over the Pandemic crisis: social media and legitimation of the AIIB, the EAEU, and the EU

Stephen Hall, Tobias Lenz, Anastassia Obudenkova

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How do international organisations (IOs) legitimise their right to rule in times of a Pandemic? Where are their previously made environmental commitments on their agenda during a crisis? What are the differences in self-legitimation, if any, across different types of IOs? These questions have gathered renewed urgency during the ongoing COVID-19 and climate change crises posing a threat to the legitimacy not only of national governments but also of IOs. The paper aims to address these questions through the analysis of environmental commitments made in legal documents of three IOs (the EU, the EAEU, and the AIIB) and through the analysis of their respective social media between 2017 and 2021. Among other issues, we find significant differences in self-legitimation strategies of these three IOs as reflected by their social media and some evidence of mimicry across these IOs that should remain on the agenda for further studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-602
Number of pages26
JournalPost-Communist Economies
Issue number5
Early online date17 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Stephen G. F. Hall thanks the Economic and Social Research Council for providing funding for this research. Tobias thanks the Leibniz Association for financial support and Lynda Irolou, Niklas Krösche, Swantje Schirmer and Henning Schmidtke for extensive discussions on the theme of this article. Anastassia Obydenkova acknowledges the support of the Basic Research Program of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University). Co-authors are listed alphabetically and they contributed equally to this project.


  • AIIB
  • COVID-19
  • EAEU
  • EU
  • International organisations
  • environmental politics
  • legitimacy
  • pandemic
  • self-legitimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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