Globalization and Democracy Some Argue Essay

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That said, Goodhart believes that global governance, if pushed too far into sovereign nations' doings, can in fact undermine popular sovereignty as "a viable conception of democracy" but it is not doing that and in fact, in a globalized world that is increasingly interdependence needs a new kind of democracy. The new sovereigntists' views are normative while Goodhart's are more along the lines o positivism. Basically, Goodhart argues that in a globalized world, global governance arrangements (such as certain actions and components of the United Nations) can strengthen constitutional democracy, and it can do this by "…limiting the power of special interest, securing individual rights, enhancing the quality of democratic deliberation, and increasing capacities to achieve important public purposes" (1051).

In concluding, Goodhart explains that while globalization is not easy to define in simple terms, at a "minimum it connotes increasing global interdependence," which, when aimed towards a more democratic world order, can only be a good thing (1055).

The English School

Andrew Linklater describes the English School as an approach to international politics (from the distinctly British perspective) that embraces the idea that sovereign states do form a society, but that society is "an anarchic" society in that the citizens do not have to bow down to a "higher power" (Linklater, 2009, p. 84). The English School can be described in general as more positivist than normative in that it sees states as they are rather than what they should be. Linklater believes that members of the English School "seem distinctively realist at times" and moreover the English School argues that international relations is based on gravitating towards "the middle ground, never wholly reconciling themselves to either point-of-view" (that is, realism or idealism) (85).

What does the English School believe about globalization and democracy? First of all, in recent years the English School has taken a more "explicitly normative stance on questions of poverty and human rights" which is something of a departure because during the Cold War years the English School stressed the importance of "…order rather than justice or prosperity" (Linklater, 88). Secondly, the modern society of states -- this being the first "truly global one" -- does not depend on an "international political culture" in the same way the European society of states depended on a shared political culture in the nineteenth century (Linklater, 90). Moreover, there is a "growing consensus" in the West vis-a-vis the need for "democratic government" in the international community, or at least some kind of constitutional safeguards for "human rights" (Linklater, 97). If democracy is to be promoted in the developing nations, to "…achieve justice for the peoples of the Third World," there has to be a "radical redistribution of power and wealth from the North to the South, Linklater explains (101). One of the hopes for global stability is that the international community must take responsibility for states "…which are no longer economically or politically viable" (Linklater, 102).


At the top of this paper Eichengreen explains that there are competing arguments as to whether globalization promotes (or helps) democracy, or not. On page 293 Eichengreen notes that the idea of globalization leading to the positive promotion of democratic ideas is not new, but in fact Kant (1795), Schumpeter (1950), Lipset (1959) and Hayek (1960) all had the same belief: free trade and capital flows, and a fair distribution of resources, does raise incomes and does in fact lead to the kind of economic development (in any country, rich or poor) that "fosters demands, for democracy." That is the philosophy that this paper embraces. Although conflicting views of globalization and democracy are presented, the bottom line for this paper is that globalization is not the culprit that some believe it is, and in fact, given the dynamics that Eichengreen puts forward, globalization can and does enhance democratic values.


Eichengreen, Barry, and Leblang, David. 2008. 'Democracy and Globalization,' Economics and Politics, vol. 20, 289-297.

Goodhart, Michael, and Taninchev, Stacy Bondanella. 2011. 'The New Sovereigntist Challenge for Global Governance: Democracy without Sovereignty,' International Studies Quarterly, vol. 55, 1047-1068.

Linklater, Andrew. 2009. 'The English School,' in Theories of International Relations, S. Burchill, R. Devetak, and J. Donnelly, editors. Macmillan: New York.

Meny, Yves. 2010. 'Democracy in Troubled Times,' European Consortium for Political Research / European Political Science, vol. 9, 259-267.

Rennstich, Joachim Karl. 2006. 'Three steps in globalization: Global networks from 1,000 BCE to 2050 CE,'…[continue]

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