Introduction: Walking the Tightrope

Andrew Kuper

in Democracy Beyond Borders

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199274901
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601552 | DOI:
Introduction: Walking the Tightrope

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In the face of globalization, an international political system based on states is unable to meet daunting political challenges that confront our world. Is it possible to develop a global order that would enable more justifiable and effective rule for the world’s people? In particular, can the principles and practices of justice and representative democracy be extended, to answer this challenge, beyond the state contexts for which they were devised? This book argues that we should end our dubious romance with the nation-state in favour of a multi-form global system called Responsive Democracy. To this end, the book presents core components of (a) a theory of global justice that arises out of a critique of the influential political philosophy of John Rawls; (b) a theory of democratic representation that constitutes an alternative to the approach taken by Jurgen Habermas and his deliberative democratic followers; and (c) a theory of how political and moral ideals that are necessarily framed in abstract terms can help orient practice in messy, non-ideal conditions. Together, these three currents of this text form a novel approach to global justice and democracy. The concrete implications of this approach to constitutionalism, institutional design, and politics will be explored for four leading global institutions.

Keywords: check and balance; Habermas; institutional design; legitimacy; liberalism; nationalism; principles of justice; Rawls; representative democracy; Responsive Democracy; separation of powers; state

Chapter.  2474 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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