Democracy in Global Governance: The Promises and Pitfalls of Transnational Actors

Bexell, Magdalena; Tallberg, Jonas; Uhlin, Anders
January 2010
Global Governance;Jan-Mar2010, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p81
Academic Journal
The participation of transnational actors in global policymaking is increasingly seen as a means to democratize global governance. Drawing on alternative theories of democracy and existing empirical evidence, we assess the promises and pitfalls of this vision. We explore how the structuring and operation of international institutions, public-private partnerships, and transnational actors themselves may facilitate expanded participation and enhanced accountability in global governance. We find considerable support for an optimistic verdict on the democratizing potential of transnational actor involvement, but also identify hurdles in democratic theory and the practice of global governance that motivate a more cautious outlook. In conclusion, we call for research that explores the conditions for democracy in global governance through a combination of normative political theory and positive empirical research.


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