What alternatives to global democracy are there? Chapter 6 proposes institutional pluralism as one candidate for imagining the structure of international institutions. It argues that we should support, on reflection, a system of institutional pluralism based on authority distributed among many nodes, on experimentation with institutional design, and on gradualism in the construction of supra-state authority. What is crucial to institutional pluralism is the absence of a central agency or a hierarchy of subordinated agencies that perform all the functions of international cooperation and, in effect, hold a coercive monopoly on power. Drawing on international law, the chapter addresses conceptual worries related to pluralist institutional orders, such as a lack of consistency of the rules, a lack of institutional coherence, and the possibility of jurisdictional conflict.
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