Organized Interests and the Prospects of a Global Democracy

in Democratic Theory
Restricted access

Abstract:

Corporatism is being reinvented in current theories about global democracy. As I see it, corporatism can be regarded as a practical way out of democracy’s intensity problem: whether those more involved in an issue should have greater say. By the same token, corporatism can be perceived as a response to the all-affected principle: whether those especially affected by a decision should have more influence. In nation-states, corporatism was to a large extent dismantled during the 1980s. In world politics, by contrast, NGOs are now called upon to play an important role in not only articulating intense and affected interests but also, in so doing, realizing a global democracy. The weakness of this argument is that today’s NGOs do not reflect the will of most people—as national organizations once managed to do—and, consequently, cannot fulfill the integrative and representative function associated with this form of interest politics.

Contributor Notes

Leif Lewin, now professor emeritus, held the Johan Skytte Chair of Eloquence and Government at Uppsala University, Sweden, from 1972 to 2008. His research interest is democratic theory and practice, and he has published about 35 books and many articles in English and Swedish, including Governing Trade Unions in Sweden (Harvard University Press, 1980); Ideology and Strategy (Cambridge University Press, 1988); Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics (Oxford University Press, 1991); Democratic Accountability: Why Choice in Politics Is Both Possible and Necessary (Harvard University Press, 2007), and 2119: The Year Global Democracy Will Be Realized (Cambria Press, 2012). Professor Lewin is the founder of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. E-mail: Leif.Lewin@statsvet.uu.se

Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • ArchibugiDaniele. 2008. The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • ArrowKenneth J. 1963. Social Choice and Individual Values. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • BergerSuzanne D. ed. 1981. Organizing Interests in Western Europe: Pluralism Corporatism and the Transformation of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BurkeEdmund. [1790] 1969. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.

  • CarrEdward Hallert. [1939] 2001. The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations. London: Palgrave.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Civitas. 2015. “Pressure Groups and Lobbying in the EU.http://civitas.org.uk/content/files/CIT7.-Pressure-Groups.pdf.

    • Export Citation
  • CoxAndrew and Noel O’Sullivan eds. 1988. The Corporate State: Corporatism and the State Tradition in Western Europe. Aldershot: Edwar Elgar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DahlRobert A. 1956. A Preface to Democratic Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • DahlRobert A. 1970. After the Revolution?: Authority in a Good Society. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • DahlRobert A. 1989. Democracy and Its Critics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Delli CarpiniMichael X. and Scott Keller. 1996: What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FaguetÉmile. 1911. The Cult of Incompetence. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company.

  • GoodinRobert E. 2007. “Enfranchising All Affected Interests, and Its Alternatives.Philosophy & Public Affairs 35 (1): 4068.

  • GreggSamuel. 2007. The Commercial Society: Foundations and Challenges in a Global Age. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

  • HarsanyiJohn C. 1976. Essays on Ethics Social Behavior and Scientific Explanation. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Reidel.

  • KendallWillimoore and George W. Carey. 1968. “The ‘Intensity’ Problem and Democratic Theory.American Political Science Review 62 (1): 524.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koenig-ArchibugiMathias. 2009. “Fuzzy Citizenship in Global Society.” Paper presented at the Transdemos Workshop Department of Political Science Lund UniversityLund, Sweden1–2 December.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KrutRiva. 1997. Globalization and Civil Society: NGO Influence in International Decision-Making. Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LewinLeif. 2012. 2119: The Year Global Democracy Will Be Realized. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.

  • LippmannWalter. 1922. Public Opinion. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

  • MacdonaldTerry. 2008. Global Stakeholder Democracy: Power and Representation beyond Liberal States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • MadisonJamesAlexander Hamilton and John Jay. [1788] 1987: The Federalist Papers. Ed. Isaac Kramnik. London: Penguin Books.

  • McCormickJohn. [2011] 2015. European Union Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • MendelsohnMatthew and Jason Brent. 2001. “Understanding Polling Methodology.IsumaSeptember.

  • MillJohn Stuart. [1861] 1977. Considerations on Representative Government. Ed. J. M. Robson. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MoravcsikAndrew. 2010. Liberal Theories of International Relations: A Primer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • OttawayMarina. 2001. “Corporatism Goes Global: International Organizations, Nongovernmental Organization Networks, and Transnational Business.Global Governance 7 (3): 265292.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PaulJames A. 1999. “NGOs and the United Nations.” Global Policy ForumJune.

  • RaeDouglas W. 1975. “The Limits of Consensual Decision.” American Political Science Review 69 (4): 12701294.

  • SawardMichael. 2011. “Slow Theory: Taking Time over Transnational Democratic Representation.” Ethics & Global Politics 4 (1): 118.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchmitterPhillippe C. 1974. “Still the Century of Corporatism?Review of Politics 36 (1): 85131.

  • SchmitterPhillippe C. 1997. “Exploring the Problematic Triumph of Liberal Democracy and Concluding with a Modest Proposal for Improving Its International Impact.” In Democracy’s Victory and Crisis ed. Axel Hadenius 297307. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SenAmartya. 1973. “Behaviour and the Concept of Preference.” Economica 40 (159): 241259.

  • StrasnickSteven. 1976. “The Problem of Social Choice: Arrow to Rawls.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 5 (3): 241273.

  • SullivanJohn L. James Piereson and George E. Marcus. 1982. Political Tolerance and American Democracy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ThérienJean-Philippe and Madeleine Bélanger Dumontier. 2009. “The United Nations and Global Democracy: From Discourse to DeedsCooperation and Conflict 44 (4): 355377.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TraynorIanBartłomiej KuraśGazeta Wyborcza et al. 2015. “30,000 Lobbyists and Counting: Is Brussels under Corporate Sway?Guardian8 May. www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/08/lobbyists-european-parliament-brussels-corporate.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VerbaSidneyKay L. Scholzman and Henry E. Brady. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VoltaireFrançois-Marie Arouet [1755] 1971. The Complete Works of Voltaire. Vol. 100Correspondence and Related Documents XVI March–December 1755. Ed. Theodore Besterman. Oxfordshire, England: Thorpe Mandeville House, Voltaire Foundation.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WiardaHoward J. 1996. Corporatism and Comparative Politics: The Other Great “Ism.” Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

  • WilliamsJohn. 2016. “The Poverty of Foreign Policy Debate in the UK General Election.Durham University. www.dur.ac.uk/sgia/wwsa/foreign.policy.uk (accessed 2 August 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • United Nations. 2015. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: NGO Branch. csonet.org (accessed 2 August 2017).

  • United Nations. 2016. “UN Chief Opens DPI/NGO Conference with Call for Cooperation on Education.” United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 30 May. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/05/un-chief-opens-dpingo-conference-with-call-for-cooperation-on-education/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation