Ethics & International Affairs Volume 25.2 (Summer 2011): Features: Global Democratization: Soup Society or System? [Abstract]

Jun 30, 2011

The prospects for global democracy are starting to receive serious attention from scholars and political reformers alike. Working on the premise that global electoral democracy is not feasible, I will identify and compare three emerging ways of thinking about democracy in global politics—ways that I refer to as a soup, a society, and a system. Briefly, a soup refers to the proliferation of democratic practices within existing patterns of international politics; a society has a set of constitutive norms and discourses that might be more or less democratic in their content, production, evolution, and interchange; and a system is composed of differentiated and ordered components linked to the production of collective outcomes, and might therefore seem the obvious objective when it comes to democratic innovation in international politics.

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