International integration and democracy: No love at first sight

Authors
Citation
E. Stein, International integration and democracy: No love at first sight, AM J INT LA, 95(3), 2001, pp. 489
Citations number
385
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Law
Journal title
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
ISSN journal
0002-9300 → ACNP
Volume
95
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Database
ISI
SICI code
0002-9300(200107)95:3<489:IIADNL>2.0.ZU;2-K
Abstract
In this essay I suggest a correlation between the integration level of an i nternational institution and the public discourse(1) about the lack of demo cracy and legitimacy in the institution's structure and functioning. This d iscourse includes ideas for remedial action at both the national and intern ational levels; it also becomes inevitably intertwined with other reform pr oposals that may call for an incremental or-particularly in the case of a m ore integrated organization-a radical restructuring. Having originated in t he highly integrated European Community, the debate on the "democracy-legit imacy deficit" has reached other institutions, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the international financial bodies, and has become one component of the backlash rhetoric against "globalization." I first provide a glimpse of the ongoing mutations in the national and inte rnational Systems and in the idea and practice of democracy. I next discuss the basic concepts including the process of integration. I offer a list of normative-institutional and empirical-social attributes germane to interna tional organizations at discrete levels of integration. I then focus on pub lic discourse regarding the democracy-legitimacy deficit in these organizat ions, with specific attention to two global organizations (the World Health Organization [WHO] and the WTO) and two regional groupings (the North Amer ican Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] and the European Union [EU]). I conclude with some general observations and note the suggestions for possible reform , both modest and ambitious, reaching the heart of the international system .