Global Democratization: Soup, Society, or System?

Ethics and International Affairs 25 (2):211-234 (2011)
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Abstract

Ideas about the presence, absence, and growth of democracy in global politics take different forms. After surveying the basic justifications for global democracy, three frames for making sense of the significance of particular developments and proposals are canvassed. “Soup” involves the proliferation of democratic practices, though the consequences of this proliferation for the overall shape of international politics remain open. “Society” stresses the democratization of processes that affect constitutive norms and discourses. “System” identifies differentiated yet ordered parts, geared to the production of collective outcomes. The soup framing is undemanding yet limited. System provides a way to pinpoint democratic deficiencies and possibilities, but its requirements can be highly demanding, and it leaves open the question of normative integration. Understanding global democratization requires both society and system framings.

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