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Building Global Democracy?
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Book description

The scale, effectiveness and legitimacy of global governance lag far behind the world's needs. This path-breaking book examines how far civil society involvement provides an answer to these problems. Does civil society make global governance more democratic? Have citizen action groups raised the accountability of global bodies that deal with challenges such as climate change, financial crises, conflict, disease and inequality? What circumstances have promoted (or blocked) civil society efforts to make global governance institutions more democratically accountable? What could improve these outcomes in the future? The authors base their argument on studies of thirteen global institutions, including the UN, G8, WTO, ICANN and IMF. Specialists from around the world critically assess what has and has not worked in efforts to make global bodies answer to publics as well as states. Combining intellectual depth and political relevance, Building Global Democracy? will appeal to students, researchers, activists and policymakers.

Reviews

‘That the relationship between institutions of global governance and civil society organisations is complex is well known; just how complex is clearly and elegantly brought out by the contributions to this marvellous volume.'

Neera Chandhoke - University of Delhi

‘Today more than ever, an uncertain world needs accountable global governance, which in turn depends on a healthy civil society. Anyone who seeks better ways towards global democracy should read this book.'

Yu Keping - China Center for Comparative Politics and Economics, Beijing

‘In a time when multiple global crises confront us with a ‘perfect storm', this book opens ways to bring citizens to the heart of building global solutions.'

Kumi Naidoo - Greenpeace International

‘A unique volume that offers real insights into the ways and to what extents citizen action groups can further the accountability of global regulatory organisations.'

Diana Tussie - Professor of International Relations, FLACSO, Argentina

‘The Arab region suffers from weak democracy in global institutions and finds that government-led diplomacy is unable to change that fact. Civil society should have a place to better this situation, and this book proves this reality and shows how CSOs could do so.’

Ziad Abdel Samad - Executive Director, the Arab NGO Network for Development. (www.annd.org)

‘Jan Aart Scholte has assembled an outstanding group from diverse corners of the world to interrogate and elaborate the notion of global democracy. The result is a book that will appeal to diverse audiences interested in how to move beyond the stalemate of contemporary geopolitics, marked by such little progress on trade rules, financial market reform and climate change.’

David Held - Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics.

'Each chapter sets out the mandate and activities of the global governance body, its accountability challenges, civil society engagement with the body and what effect this has. The result is a diverse analysis of civil society’s role or potential role in improving the accountability of global governance organisations. Interestingly, the chapter on assessing the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) draws out what civil society and accountability mean from an Islamic perspective … As an edited volume, the book forms a cohesive narrative. The editor has set clear questions for contributors to adhere to in order to achieve consistency, while leaving enough freedom to explore the varied nuances of each case.'

Sasha Jesperson Source: LSE Politics blog (blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy)

'Jan Aart Scholte has put together a most relevant volume that fills a huge need for information, namely about non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations … this book is a most welcome addition to the new field of globalisation studies … major global governance institutions - the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation etc. - are analysed through this common framework in a coherent manner, which must have required a lot of co-ordination by the editor.

Jan-Erik Lane Source: Political Studies Review

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