No Global Demos, No Global Democracy? A Systematization and Critique

Perspectives on Politics 12 (4):789-807 (2014)
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A globalized world, some argue, needs a global democracy. But there is considerable disagreement about whether global democracy is an ideal worth pursuing. One of the main grounds for scepticism is captured by the slogan: “No global demos, no global democracy.” The fact that a key precondition of democracy—a demos—is absent at the global level, some argue, speaks against the pursuit of global democracy. The paper discusses four interpretations of the skeptical slogan—each based on a specific account of the notion of “the demos”—and concludes that none of them establishes that the global democratic ideal must be abandoned. In so doing, the paper (i) systematizes different types of objections against global democracy, thus bringing some clarity to an otherwise intricate debate and (ii) offers a robust but qualified defense of the global democratic ideal.



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Laura Valentini
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

Citations of this work

Political legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The boundary problem of democracy: A function-sensitive view.Eva Erman - 2022 - Contemporary Political Theory 21 (2):240-261.
The Human Right to Democracy and the Pursuit of Global Justice.Pablo Gilabert - 2020 - In Thom Brooks (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Global Justice. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 279-301.

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