The Democratic Legitimacy of Global Governance after Copenhagen

Karin Bäckstrand

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

The Democratic Legitimacy of Global Governance after Copenhagen

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After being regarded as a failure, the Copenhagen Accord has opened way for international climate politics. Cosmopolitan democracy favors a world order based on a global constitution at a regional and global level. The cosmopolitan model has been criticized for its naive utopian ambitions, its neglect on issues, and for underplaying the role of more sporadically deployed and hybrid mechanisms of governance. Three pragmatic paths to global democracy can be identified — democratic intergovernmentalism, transnational deliberative democracy, and global stakeholder democracy. They overlap in emphasizing the need for transparency, deliberation, participation, and public accountability of global governance, but differ on the most viable path to democratizing global governance. They are also complementary in their quest to assess the democratic legitimacy of new emerging complex, fragmented, and hybrid global governance arrangements. Even if contemporary global climate governance does not fulfill normative ideals of democracy, it represents an ongoing experiment in global democratic practice.

Keywords: Copenhagen Accord; democracy; intergovernmentalism; transnational deliberate democracy; global stakeholder democracy; transparency; global governance; global climate; global governance arrangements

Article.  7420 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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