Accountability and global governance: challenging the state-centric conception of human rights

Abstract
In this essay I analyze some conceptual difficulties associated with the demand that global institutions be made more democratically accountable. In the absence of a world state, it may seem inconsistent to insist that global institutions be accountable to all those subject to their decisions while also insisting that the members of these institutions, as representatives of states, simultaneously remain accountable to the citizens of their own countries for the special responsibilities they have towards them. This difficulty seems insurmountable in light of the widespread acceptance of a state-centric conception of human rights, according to which states and only states bear primary responsibility for the protection of their citizens' rights. Against this conception, I argue that in light of the current structures of global governance the monistic ascription of human rights obligations to states is no longer plausible. Under current conditions, states are bound to fail in their ability to protect the human rights of their citizens whenever potential violations either stem from transnational regulations or are perpetrated by non-state actors. In order to show the plausibility of an alternative, pluralist conception of human rights obligations I turn to the current debate among scholars of international law regarding the human rights obligations of non-state actors. I document the various ways in which these obligations could be legally entrenched in global financial institutions such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. These examples indicate feasible methods for strengthening the democratic accountability of these institutions while also respecting the accountability that participating member states owe to their own citizens. I conclude that, once the distinctions between the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights are taken into account, no conceptual difficulty remains in holding states and non-state actors accountable for their respective human rights obligations.
Keywords accountability  global governance  human rights  Beitz  WTO  IMF  World Bank
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,350
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Mathias Risse (2012). On Global Justice. Princeton University Press.
Sivanandam Panneerselvam (2008). Human Rights in Indian Context. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 11:85-91.
Michael Goodhart (2008). Human Rights and Global Democracy. Ethics and International Affairs 22 (4):395-420.
Jennifer Prah Ruger (2012). Global Health Justice and Governance. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (12):35-54.
Katherine Eddy (2007). On Revaluing the Currency of Human Rights. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):307-328.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-24

Total downloads

20 ( #81,851 of 1,096,735 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #164,128 of 1,096,735 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.