Abstract: How to generate legitimate forms of governance beyond the nation state is often considered a central question in contemporary world politics ( Moravcsik 2004: 336 ). To proceed in theory-building, scholars need to systematically assign the theory-driven assumptions on legitimate forms of governance beyond the nation-state with the various, already observable, forms of global governance. This article aims to conduct a comparative appraisal of the legitimatory quality of different patterns of governance by applying a framework of indicators for their assessment. The indicators are selected from the scholarly debate within International Relations on the legitimacy of global governance arrangements and structured by a multi-dimensional concept of legitimacy (input-, throughput- and output-dimension). This framework is then applied to international, transnational and private forms of global governance in three policy fields in order to show how each of them try to produce and maintain legitimacy, which strategies they apply and in how they interact with their stakeholders.