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

July 2009
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies;Summer2009, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p585
Academic Journal
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 faces three objections extrapolated from arguments made by Andrew Moravcsik and Giandomenico Majone in debates about the democratic deficit of the European Union (EU): the global constitution only regulates issues of low salience for citizens; democratic control is explicitly counter to the self-binding system that international regulations aim to achieve; and the EU's track record suggests that democratic control at the international level may be unnecessary 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 to value democratic deliberation and contestation as mechanisms to enhance the trustworthiness of institutions and authorities.


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