The Promise of Global Democracy – The International Impact of Civil Society
73 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2014 Last revised: 15 Jul 2015
Date Written: November 7, 2014
The article deals with the question how an involvement of civil society organizations at the international level can foster a democratization of international organizations and law making processes. With reference to democratic theory and the current legal practice of CSO involvement, the author reconstructs two theoretical perspectives that give an account of the democratic potential. Key for the argumentation is the development of a model that is called the “mobilization model.” Drawing on deliberative theory the author argues that CSOs can be a means of expressing the will of a mobilized public. Recent debates about the lack of legitimacy of CSOs are confronted by a conceptual framework that allows to acknowledge CSO activity as a form of “representation without election.” The author argues that CSO involvement can have a democratizing impact, but also points out its limits: CSOs are suitable for a punctual democratization of specific processes but their activity is too focused to account for an overall democratization of the international legal system.
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