lnstate - Global Democracy, Without the State 1. Democracy...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Global Democracy, Without the State 1. Democracy and the State Much of our thinking about democracy assumes the existence of a state: by “state” I mean a politically organized society, with a central authority, operating over a territory, that monopolizes the legitimate use of force and has a wide range of policy competences (employment, environment, health, product safety, domestic security, research/development, etc.). Our standard conceptions of democracy—current paradigms of democraticness—are linked to this institutional setting. The idea is, roughly, that policy-makers are held accountable to citizens through regular competitive elections, against a background of basic liberties of speech and association. Citizens debate issues, with the debate organized in part by competing parties with distinct views; they choose representatives, and those representatives make policies and hold officials—executives and regulators—accountable for the articulation and implementation of those policies. Thus we have a highly mediated form of accountability to citizens as a body of equals. This was not always the understanding of democracy. In Democracy and Its Critics , Robert Dahl writes about two major transformations of democracy: first, the development of direct democracy in Greek city-states, then second, the development of representative democracy in the United States and early modern Europe, as a response to, among other things, a growth in the size of political units. These are both forms of democracy in that they are both ways in which the interests, beliefs, principles, and ideals of equal persons who are subject to
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Global Justice, 2 collective decisions are brought to bear on making those decisions: ways that the authorization to exercise power results from the collective decisions of the equal persons who are governed by that power. The modern conception—with representation and party competition—emerges in response to demands of responsiveness and accountability in the setting of a modern state, with the indicia of Westphalian sovereignty. It took considerable invention, both intellectually and practically, to see how the abstract idea of democracy could be brought to bear on a modern, centralized, large, sovereign state. There are of course serious questions about the democratic credentials of laws and policies chosen by elected officials, or by agents (administrative agencies) acting under their supervision: not least because laws and policies are so loosely linked to informal public discussion and processes of opinion formation, so the idea that they issue from processes of collective decision- making that treat people as equals is a matter of disagreement: the agency relations extending from people to policy-makers are pretty weak. But I don’t wish to pursue those questions here. I want instead to focus on
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 14

lnstate - Global Democracy, Without the State 1. Democracy...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online