August 12, 2008

From the ''Democracy of Nations'' to Stakeholder Based Governance Systems

  • Paul Dragos Aligica

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Purchase this Book

What is the future of democracy as an institutional design principle of international governance? How is the idea of organizing the international arena as a “democracy of nations” going to be affected by globalization? Is progress in international governance tantamount to an increase in the democratization of the relationships between states? How viable is the ideal of an international system defined formally in terms of equality, and informally in terms of democracy? These questions invite an exploration into the problematic territory of conjectures and speculations -- a domain that has a highly ambiguous status in the social sciences. On the one hand, conjectures and “bold predictions” are considered to be intrinsic part of the core of the scientific enterprise (Popper 1969). On the other hand, engaging for real in social prognostication has always been a risky venture in terms of professional reputation. Yet any discussion regarding the prospects of “democracy in a globalizing world” needs sooner or later to be future(s)-oriented. It is paradoxical but the very twin criteria of relevance and realism require an endeavor into the objectionable territories of speculation – i.e. of reasoning based on incomplete facts, information and evidence.

This chapter starts by reiterating the principles of thinking about future(s) in ways that could “avoid the twin irrelevance of the too unlikely and of the too probable” (Kahn 1967) through an approach that combines the stable and the volatile, the slow changing and the accidental, and encompasses both the macro-level (historical stages and sociological structures) and the micro-level (decisions, actions, beliefs and expectations). The chapter continues by focusing on the problem of specific ideas and beliefs that shape or have the potential of shaping the way we understand and apply the principles of democratic governance in the international arena. In other words, assuming an ontology and theory of social change in which ideas have a central role, the challenge is to identify the ideas relevant for demarcating and shaping the broadly defined problem of “democracy in a changing international arena where the states are no longer the sole actors”? Out of the list of such ideas, the notion of “democracy of nations” is singled out and used as a vehicle to explore the territory of conjectures and speculations defined by the questions that motivate this study.

Citation - Chicago Style

Aligica, Paul Dragos. "From the 'Democracy of Nations' to Stakeholder Based Governance Systems." In Global Democracy and its Difficulties, edited by Anthony J. Langlois and Karol Edward Soltan. London: Routledge, 2008.