How can advocates of globaldemocracy grapple with the empirical conditions that constitute world politics? I argue that flexibility mechanisms - commonly used to advance international cooperation - should be employed to make the institutional design project of globaldemocracy more tractable. I highlight three specific reasons underpinning this claim. First, flexibility provisions make bargaining over different institutional designs more manageable. Second, heightened flexibility takes seriously potential concerns about path-dependent institutional development. Finally, deliberately shortening the time (...) horizons of agents by employing flexibility provisions has cognitive benefits as it forces designers to focus specifically on issues of feasibility as well as desirability. I discuss a range of flexibility mechanisms and highlight the utility of sunset provisions and escape clauses. From this analysis, I build an argument for the usage of small-scale democratic experiments through which citizens have a say in global policy making. (shrink)
Abstract: The cosmopolitan ideal of liberal universalism seems to be at odds with liberalism's insistence on national borders for liberal democratic communities, creating disparate standards of distributive justice for insiders and outsiders. The liberal's dilemma on the question of cosmopolitan justice would seem to be an extension of this broader conundrum of conflicting loyalties of statism and globalism. The challenge for liberalism, then, seems to be to show how the practices of exclusive membership embody the principle of moral equality. While (...) discerning a variety of liberal reasons to give some scope to the claim that statism and globalism need not be an irreconcilable dilemma within liberalism, the essay argues that these reasons fail to provide a satisfactory resolution. Instead, the essay points out, globaldemocracy can be the direction for both a statist and a cosmopolitan liberal, and the two camps a case not of conflicting loyalties but of multiple loyalties. (shrink)
Abstract: In this essay a set of principles is defended that yields a determinate allocation of sovereign competences across a global system of territorially nested jurisdictions. All local sovereign competences are constrained by a universal, justiciable human rights regime that also incorporates a conception of cross-border distributive justice and regulates the competence to control immigration for a given territory. Subject to human rights constraints, sovereign competences are allocated according to a conception of globaldemocracy. The proposed allocation (...) scheme can accommodate substantial local autonomy while at the same time ensuring that everyone has a voice in the political decisions that affect his or her interests. The relevant class of affected interests is fully specified. Relevant affects are of two kinds: those that impose norms of governance on individuals, and those that impose external costs on them. The favored sense of "an external cost" is developed and defended. (shrink)
Abstract: The emergence of cross-border communities and transnational associations requires new ways of thinking about the norms involved in democracy in a globalized world. Given the significance of human rights fulfillment, including social and economic rights, I argue here for giving weight to the claims of political communities while also recognizing the need for input by distant others into the decisions of global governance institutions that affect them. I develop two criteria for addressing the scope of democratization in (...) transnational contexts— common activities and impact on basic human rights —and argue for their compatibility. I then consider some practical implications for institutional transformation and design, including new forms of transnational representation. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this paper, I critique one way of arguing for globaldemocracy on grounds of affected interests and defend another. A famous argument for globaldemocracy, which I call the Demos-Based Argument, attempts to justify globaldemocracy based on the claim that affected interests vindicate individual claims to democratic participation or representation. I analyze and evaluate the Demos-Based Argument and consider different ways of interpreting and justifying its crucial premise: the Principle of Affected Interests. (...) The result is that the argument fails. One lesson of the discussion of the Demos-Based Argument is that the most promising, though eventually unsuccessful, justification of the Principle of Affected Interests is utilitarian. Given the failure of the Demos-Based Argument, the question suggests itself if there is another way to argue for globaldemocracy on utilitarian grounds. I will outline a promising alternative argument for globaldemocracy, which I call the Direct Argument. Like the De... (shrink)
This essay argues that human rights are a necessary condition for globaldemocracy. Human rights constrain power, enable meaningful political agency, and support and promote democratic regimes within states, all of which are fundamental elements in any scheme for globaldemocracy.
The question of whether globaldemocracy requires a world state has with few exceptions been answered with an unequivocal ‘No’. A world state, it is typically argued, is neither feasible nor desirable. Instead, different forms of global governance arrangements have been suggested, involving non-hierarchical and multilayered models with dispersed authority. The overall aim of this paper is to addresses the question of whether globaldemocracy requires a world state, adopting a so-called ‘function-sensitive’ approach. It is (...) shown that such an approach is equipped to resist the predominant binary view of a world state and offer a more differentiated and nuanced answer to this question. In brief, a basic presumption of a function-sensitive approach is that the content, justification and status of principles of democracy are dependent on the aim they are set out to achieve, what functions they are intended to regulate (e.g., decision-making, implementation, enforce... (shrink)
On most accounts of globaldemocracy, human rights are ascribed a central function. Still, their conceptual role in globaldemocracy is often unclear. Two recent attempts to remedy this deficiency have been made by James Bohman and Michael Goodhart. What is interesting about their proposals is that they make the case that under the present circumstances of politics, globaldemocracy is best conceptualized in terms of human rights. Although the article is sympathetic to this (...) ‘human rights approach’, it defends the thesis that human rights are not enough for globaldemocracy. It argues that insofar as we hold on to the general idea of democracy as a normative ideal of self-determination (self-rule) that is, of people determining their own lives and ruling over themselves, the concept of democracy accommodates two necessary conditions, namely, political bindingness and political equality. Further, it argues that neither Bohman’s nor Goodhart’s accounts fulfills these conditions and that one explanation for this could be traced to a lack of clarity concerning the distinction between democracy as normative ideal and democracy as decision method or rules (for example, institutions, laws and norms) for regulating social interactions. This ambiguity has implications for both Goodhart and Bohman. In Goodhart’s work it manifests itself as a vagueness concerning the difference between political agency and democratic agency; in Bohman’s work it becomes unclear whether he contributes a normative democratic theory or a theory of democratization. Although this article develops both a conceptual and a normative argument against their proposals, the aim is not to find fault with them but to point to questions that are in need of further elaboration to make them more convincing. (shrink)
In this critique of Michael Goodhart's "Human Rights and GlobalDemocracy," Eva Erman argues that Goodhart has reconceptualized democracy and therefore does not offer a better understanding of the relationship between human rights and globaldemocracy.
One way of countering the objection that a global political order would lack the corresponding global political commitments is suggested by John Dryzek’s “Two paths to globaldemocracy”. He argues that deliberative democracy simply does not require a shared identity or a strong adherence to a common public culture. All that is needed is a shared problem . According to Dryzek, the need to collectively solve problems is sufficient to generate a discursive engagement on the (...) side of all those concerned. In other words, the functional pressure of collective global problems might, by itself, create the necessary motivation to keep reciprocal modes of problem-solving going at the supranational level. (shrink)
In his “In place of 'globaldemocracy'”, Michael Saward points at the many unknowns on the path towards a democratization of the international political order. According to Saward, this makes it a priori impossible to anticipate what a possible global democratic practice will look like.
On most accounts of globaldemocracy, human rights are ascribed a central function. Still, their conceptual role in globaldemocracy is often unclear. Two recent attempts to remedy this deficiency have been made by James Bohman and Michael Goodhart. What is interesting about their proposals is that they make the case that under the present circumstances of politics, globaldemocracy is best conceptualized in terms of human rights. Although the article is sympathetic to this (...) ‘human rights approach’, it defends the thesis that human rights are not enough for globaldemocracy. It argues that insofar as we hold on to the general idea of democracy as a normative ideal of self-determination that is, of people determining their own lives and ruling over themselves, the concept of democracy accommodates two necessary conditions, namely, political bindingness and political equality. Further, it argues that neither Bohman's nor Goodhart's accounts fulfills these conditions and that one explanation for this could be traced to a lack of clarity concerning the distinction between democracy as normative ideal and democracy as decision method or rules for regulating social interactions. This ambiguity has implications for both Goodhart and Bohman. In Goodhart's work it manifests itself as a vagueness concerning the difference between political agency and democratic agency; in Bohman's work it becomes unclear whether he contributes a normative democratic theory or a theory of democratization. Although this article develops both a conceptual and a normative argument against their proposals, the aim is not to find fault with them but to point to questions that are in need of further elaboration to make them more convincing. (shrink)
Abstract: To respond to globalization-related challenges, many contemporary political theorists have argued for forms of democracy beyond the level of the nation-state. Since the early 1990s, however, political theory has also witnessed a renewed normative defense of nationhood. Liberal nationalists have been influential in claiming that the state should protect and promote national identities, and that it is desirable that the boundaries of national and political units coincide. At first glance, both positions—globaldemocracy and nationalism—seem to contradict (...) each other. We do not share this oppositional picture. Developing a more harmonic picture of nationalist ideals and cosmopolitan visions is the aim of this essay. (shrink)
Democratic practices exist in politics within and beyond individual states. To date, however, it is only the democratic practices within states that have been analyzed in search for causal explanations of political outcomes, for example, peace and human rights protection. Having established the problematic nature of this situation, the purpose of this article is to explain why the situation emerges in political science and then to suggest a strategy to overcome it. The lack of attention to globaldemocracy, (...) or democracy beyond the state more generally, in explanatory theory is suggested to depend on prevalent but unnecessary conceptual delimitations of democracy which contradict standard assumptions about international politics. Those contradictions can be avoided, however, by defining democracy as rule by the largest group. It is argued that the concept of rule by the largest group, while protecting traditional virtues of democracy such as freedom and equality of individual persons in politics, allows sc... (shrink)
While methodological and metatheoretical questions pertaining to feasibility have been intensively discussed in the philosophical literature on feasibility and justice in recent years, these discussions have not permeated the debate on globaldemocracy. The overall aim in this paper is to demonstrate the fruitfulness of importing some of the advancements made in this literature into the debate on globaldemocracy as well as to develop aspects that are relevant for explaining the role of feasibility in normative (...) political theory. This is done by pursuing two arguments. First, to advance the work on the role of feasibility, we suggest two metatheoretical constraints on normative political theorizing as intuitively plausible – the ‘fitness constraint’ and the ‘functional constraint’ – which elucidate a number of aspects relevant for determining proper feasibility constraints of an account in political theory. Second, to illustrate the usefulness of this feasibility framework, we sketch an account of globaldemocracy consisting of normative principles which respond differently to these aspects and thus are tied to different feasibility constraints as well as exemplify how it may be applied in practice. (shrink)
Abstract: Does democracy or popular sovereignty imply exclusion and drawing borders? And if so, what type of exclusion and borders, and what kind of justification can we give for them? Moreover, if democracy really requires some kind of exclusion, is globaldemocracy then a paradoxical union of two contradictory ideals? Can we create a demos on the global level? The focus of this collection of essays is on this potential conflict and its underlying values.
In “The coming of age of globaldemocracy? An introduction”, Ronald Tinnevelt & Raf Geenens indicate why cosmopolitan democracy has become such a hotly debated issue within political theory, and survey some of the theoretical challenges and objections that proponents of globaldemocracy often encounter.
Following the offshoring of production to developing countries by transnational corporations (TNCs), unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have criticised working conditions at TNCs' offshore factories. This has led to the emergence of two different approaches to operationalising TNC responsibilities for workers' rights in developing countries: codes of conduct and global agreements. Despite the importance of this development, few studies have systematically compared the effects of these two different ways of dealing with workers' rights. This article addresses this gap by (...) analysing how codes of conduct and global agreements both independently and interactively affect workers' rights. We do this based on a qualitative study of the Sri Lankan operations of a Swedish TNC in Sri Lanka, and on interviews with union and NGO representatives actively involved in codes of conduct and global agreements. Our results indicate that global agreements independently address all the aspects included in codes of conduct, while also addressing additional, more process-oriented aspects of workers' rights. Hence, on their own, global agreements seem to comprise the superior approach to promoting workers' rights. Furthermore, our results indicate that promoting codes of conduct has negative interactive effects on global agreements. Based on these results, we argue that the current focus on codes of conduct is counterproductive for the promotion of workers' rights. (shrink)
Poverty, inequality, violence, environmental degradation, and tyranny continue to afflict the world. Ethics of Global Development offers a moral reflection on the ends and means of local, national, and global efforts to overcome these five scourges. After emphasizing the role of ethics in development studies, policy-making, and practice, David A. Crocker analyzes and evaluates Amartya Sen's philosophy of development in relation to alternative ethical outlooks. He argues that Sen's turn to robust ideals of human agency and democracy (...) improves on both Sen's earlier emphasis on 'capabilities and functionings' and Martha Nussbaum's version of the capability orientation. This agency-focused capability approach is then extended and strengthened by applying it to the challenges of consumerism and hunger, the development responsibilities of affluent individuals and nations, and the dilemmas of globalization. Throughout the book the author argues for the importance of more inclusive and deliberative democratic institutions. (shrink)
In his Democracy across borders, Bohman articulates an ambitious political proposal for a future international order. Perhaps its most salient feature is the promise of globaldemocracy without a world government. Globaldemocracy is usually associated with the ideal of a world community unified under a set of global democratic institutions. Fear of the totalitarian consequences that such a concentration of power would generate often leads even the staunchest cosmopolitans to limit their democratic aspirations (...) to the national level and merely hope for the progressive implementation of the rule of law at the global level. In his book, Bohman tries to break with the widespread assumption that an increase in democratization across national borders must be purchased at the price of a concentration of power that dangerously increases the potential for political domination. According to Bohman, this assumption is rooted in a narrow understanding of the democratic ideal - an understanding that needs to be replaced by a more complex one. (Published: 5 February 2010) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010, pp. 13-19. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v3i1.4850. (shrink)
In liberal thought, democracy is guaranteed by the unity of community and government. The community of citizens elects its government according to political preferences. The government rules over the community with powers that are limited by unalienable human, civil, and political rights. These assumptions have characterized Classical Liberalism, Revisionist Liberalism, and contemporary Neo-Liberal theories. However, the assumed unity of community and government becomes problematic in Global Post-Fordism. Recent research on the globalization of the economy and society has underscored (...) the increasing inability of nation-states to exercise power over their communities, which, in turn, limits the ability of communities to express their will at the nation-state level. The current phase of capitalism is characterized by socio-economic relations that transcend the jurisdictions of nation-states and local spaces. By introducing features characteristic of Classical Liberalism, Revisionist Liberalism and Neo-liberalism, and the contribution of the theory of Reflexive Modernization, which represents a novel attempt to rethink democracy within the liberal tradition, the issue of the fracture of the unity of community and government can be addressed. The inability of governments to control economic and non-economic environments creates a crisis of representation that implies serious limits to liberal democracy. This situation is particularly important for the agricultural and food sector since its development and programs for its democratization have been historically based on the intervention of agencies of and control by the nation-state. (shrink)
Human rights and democracy have been regarded as a mutually reinforcing couple by many political theorists to date. The internationalisation of human rights post-1945 is often said to have severed those links, however. Accounting for the legitimacy of international human rights requires exploring how human rights and democracy, once they have been decoupled or disconnected, can be recoupled or reunited across governance levels and maybe even at the same governance level albeit beyond the state. The article does so (...) in three steps. The first prong of the argument is dedicated to presenting the moral-political nature of human rights and their relationship to political equality and, hence, their inherent legal nature from a democratic theory perspective. The second section of the article then draws some implications for the domestic or international levels of legal recognition and specification of human rights by reference to their legitimation within the domestic democratic community. It explains the mutual relationship between human rights and citizens’ rights and where international human rights draw their democratic legitimacy from. In the third and final section, the author discusses potential changes in the nature and legitimacy of international human rights once political structures beyond the state become more democratic, and human rights and democracy are being recoupled again at various levels of governance. The European Union being one of the most advanced examples of post-national political integration, recent developments in the regime of human rights protection within the EU are discussed in this new light. In a final step, the transposition to the global level of the argument developed in the European case is assessed and the author flags issues for further research on what democratic theorists should hope for in the new global order.Keywords: democracy; human rights; legitimacy; citizens’ rights; Maus; right to have rights; Arendt; legal rights; international law; EU; global institutions; Habermas; Lafont. (shrink)
Bohman argues that "transnational democracy provides the basis for a solution to the problem of the “democratic circle”—that in order for democracy to promote justice, it must already be just—at the international level. Transnational democracy could be a means to global justice.".