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Does stakeholder involvement foster democratic legitimacy in international organizations? An empirical assessment of a normative theory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2015 (English)In: The Review of International Organizations, ISSN 1559-7431, E-ISSN 1559-744X, Vol. 10, no 4, 465-488 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The involvement of non-state organizations in global governance is widely seen as an important step toward global democracy. Proponents of "stakeholder democracy" argue that stakeholder organizations, such as civil society groups and other non-state actors, may represent people significantly affected by global decisions better than elected governments. In this article we identify a particularly promising sociological variant of this argument, test it against new evidence from a large-scale survey among stakeholder organizations with varying levels of involvement in international organizations (IOs), and find that the suggested stakeholder mechanism for producing democratic legitimacy in global governance does not work. Stakeholder involvement is unproductive for democratic legitimacy in IOs as perceived by stakeholders themselves. We suggest alternative explanations of this finding and argue that empirical analysis is useful for adjudicating normative arguments on the viability of stakeholder democracy in global governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 4, 465-488 p.
Keyword [en]
Democracy, Democratic theory, Normative theory, Civil society, Stakeholder democracy, Global democracy, Legitimacy, Global governance, International organizations, Non-state actors, UN
National Category
Globalization Studies
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110320DOI: 10.1007/s11558-014-9212-6ISI: 000364391000003OAI: diva2:770568
EU, European Research Council, 200971DII
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Agné, HansDellmuth, Lisa MariaTallberg, Jonas
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Department of Political ScienceStockholm Resilience Centre
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