When 'Common Interests' are Not Common: Why the 'Global Basic Structure' Should Be Democratic

22 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010

Date Written: 2009


The global constitution – the fundamental international norms and structures that serve constitutional functions - should include mechanisms of democratic contestation and accountability. This central claim of ‘Global Constitutionalism’ is defended against three objections extrapolated from arguments by Andrew Moravcsik and Giandomenico Majone, in debates about the democratic deficit of the European Union. A) that this global constitution only regulates issues of low salience for citizens; B) that fickle democratic control is explicitly counter to the self binding that international regulations aim to provide; and C) that the track record of the EU suggest that democratic control at the international level may not be necessary to ensure congruence between voters’ preferences and actual regulations. These objections miss the profound impact of the global constitution and the complexity of the ‘common goods’ that multilevel regulations are meant to secure. They also overlook some of the reasons we have to value democratic deliberation and contestation, as mechanisms to enhance the trustworthiness of institutions and authorities.

Keywords: EU, Democratic Deficit, Democracy, Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Follesdal, Andreas, When 'Common Interests' are Not Common: Why the 'Global Basic Structure' Should Be Democratic (2009). Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 585-604, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1704406

Andreas Follesdal (Contact Author)

Pluricourts ( email )

P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics