Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Accountability and the Global Democratic Deficit

31 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2013 Last revised: 9 Sep 2013

Minh Ly

Brown University

Date Written: 2013


International organizations (IOs) such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have come under increasing criticism for their democratic deficit. These IOs have the power to threaten human rights, but their leaders are not subject to democratic accountability through elections. The dilemma for democracy is that the existing system of accountability through states is inadequate to protect human rights, yet the global electoral democracy that many political theorists support is unrealistic. To reduce the democratic deficit, this paper offers a deliberative theory of accountability for international organizations that is more feasible than global elections, and more strongly protects human rights than accountability through states. It explains how deliberative public justification can provide the normative standards, right to evaluate, and corrective mechanisms needed to hold IOs more democratically accountable.

Keywords: Deliberative democracy, accountability, democratic deficit, international organizations, human rights, justification, World Bank, International Monetary Fund

Suggested Citation

Ly, Minh, Accountability and the Global Democratic Deficit (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN:

Minh Ly (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views