This article examines international responses to the post-election crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, where two distinct governments were established due to contradiction between the election results proclaimed domestically and those certified by the internationally entrusted authority observing the election. Between two competing authorities, the international community stood firmly in favour of the internationally recognized president-elect as ‘legitimate authority’ while acting against the opponent whom they considered to hold ‘illegitimate authority’. Considering the principle of democracy as the underlying rationale grounding the international responses, this article identifies three mechanisms that incorporate and thus promote the principle of democracy: international election monitoring as setting mechanism, international representation as consolidating mechanism, and international intervention as enforcing mechanism. In accordance with these analyses, the current stage of democracy in international legal discourse is queried, particularly the democratic entitlement of a government in relation to determination of its international legitimacy.
* Ph.D. candidate in International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland; Legal Researcher, Legal Research Institute at Korea University Law School, Seoul, S. Korea [firstname.lastname@example.org]. The author wishes to thank Professor Marcelo G. Kohen and Professor Jean d'Aspremont for their valuable comments on an earlier draft of this article.