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Why democracy must be global: self-founding and democratic intervention

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 2010

Hans Agné*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract

Globalization, foreign intervention, and failed states have drawn new attention to theoretical issues of how political orders and communities can be legitimately founded, and what it means for a people to be self-governing. In this article, I will challenge an argument in this debate saying that the founding of new political orders is always in some sense illegitimate insofar as it cannot be decided democratically. In opposition to this view, I will suggest that the founding of political orders is legitimate even from a democratic point of view when decided together by people within as well as beyond the boundaries inherent in the foundation. In case of persisting disagreement over boundary issues, political decisions can still derive democratic legitimacy from global procedures that are equally inclusive of everyone capable of contesting those decisions. Elaborating on the implications of this argument, I will also reject the notion that foreign interventions for establishing democracy are themselves necessarily illegitimate or undemocratic.

Type
Original Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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