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No Global Demos, No Global Democracy? A Systematization and Critique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2014

Abstract

A globalized world, some argue, needs a global democracy. But there is considerable disagreement about whether global democracy is an ideal worth pursuing. One of the main grounds for scepticism is captured by the slogan: “No global demos, no global democracy.” The fact that a key precondition of democracy—a demos—is absent at the global level, some argue, speaks against the pursuit of global democracy. I discuss four interpretations of the skeptical slogan—each based on a specific account of the notion of “the demos”—and conclude that none of them establishes that the global democratic ideal must be abandoned. In so doing, I systematize different types of objections against global democracy, thus bringing some clarity to an otherwise intricate debate, and offer a robust but qualified defense of the global democratic ideal.

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Copyright © American Political Science Association 2014 

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