Globalisation and Democracy
This essay reviews a recent volume on globalization, marketisation and the challenges these developments pose to democratic political theory and practice at the turn of the century.
ARENA Working Paper 23/1999 (html)
Erik Oddvar Eriksen
Increasingly, the world is integrated through parallel developments in telecommunication, transportation and global financial markets. These three revolutions have made capital and information available everywhere and made possible world wide mass-media and culture production. The world financial markets constitute a fully global economy; trade, meanwhile, remains largely regionalized. Globalization poses problems for national democracy because collective decisions are made in contexts beyond governmental control, and because it narrows down the options available for democratic elected boards. In the book under current review: Re-imagining Political Community, edited by Daniele Archibugi, David Held and Martin Köhler, processes of globalisation are connected to the end of the Cold War and the assertion of democracy as the sole legitimate system of governance. It contains a collection of important works on how to come to grips with the problems posed by economic globalization, but also on how to take account of the developments rendering the Westphalian model obsolete. The task is to reformulate democratic theory in order grasp the erosion of state autonomy and to conceptualize a new political order.