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Global Stakeholder DemocracyPower and Representation Beyond Liberal States$
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Terry Macdonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235001.001.0001

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Global Social Choice Beyond Nation‐State Representation

Global Social Choice Beyond Nation‐State Representation

(p.105) 5 Global Social Choice Beyond Nation‐State Representation
Global Stakeholder Democracy

Terry MacDonald

Oxford University Press

This chapter challenges the widespread idea that legitimate social choice in global politics can be achieved solely through representation by nation-states — either as a means of aggregating individual preferences across territorial states, or as a means of conducting deliberative decision making among the cultural entities of ‘nations’. It begins by explaining that any representative democratic theory of legitimate social choice must be built upon two kinds of argument: an explication of and justification for the underlying normative conception of interest representation; and an explanation of how the proposed constituency boundaries can effectively enact the ideal of interest representation in practice. It then develops a critique of the conventional nation-state-based model of global representation, examining both some normative and practical justifications for this model that are based upon a ‘burkean’ model of interest representation and linked to the notion of a nation, and some alternative justifications that are based upon a liberal individualist model of interest representation and linked to the notion of a state. This analysis highlights several significant normative weaknesses of nation-state representation, and concludes accordingly that nation-state representation cannot alone achieve legitimate social choice in global politics.

Keywords:   social choice, nation, state, constituency, interest, Burke, liberal-individualist

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