Assessment of Proposals to Increase the Democratic Legitimacy of International InstitutionsAssessment of Proposals to Increase the Democratic Legitimacy of International Institutions Democracy has been established as a universal political value with widening acceptance at the international level. The growing globalization and internationalization have brought about changes in the functioning of many countries. While these have given rise to additional governance capacity at the international level, these have also created a degree of interdependence between the states and at the same time make them susceptible and vulnerable to the events happening in the international system.
(Cf. D.Held, 1996). Also state sovereignty is affected by the activities of international governmental and non governmental organizations. If the international systems are non democratic, then it reduces the scope of democratic states to exercise their democratic powers which results in their loss of control over the public policy making. Then the fundamental concept of democracy no longer holds good. It becomes essential that international institutions should adopt democracy mainly on two reasons. One is to have more national control over the public policy making and to make true the assumption of democracy that the policy decisions at that level are based on the consent of concerned states.
As the policy decisions are based on the happenings in the world, the absence of democracy at the international level would diminish the scope of public policy making. Second reason is that only democratic legitimacy will be accepted in the international systems in the long run as it would only enhance the effectiveness. The short-term inefficiencies of democracy are counterbalanced by the long-term effects of innovation and prosperity (Jon Elster, 1988). As democracy has been accepted as the global norm, any institution in which significant policy decisions are made should follow the democratic procedures of decision-making.
Hence as the role of international institutions in global governance increases, the necessity that they are democratic also increases. (Binen. D. et al, 1998). Now the major international institutions like the United Nations, International Monetary Fund etc. which seek to improve their effectiveness are required to introduce democratic reforms too. Many proposals are put forward to introduce democratic reforms and increase the democratic legitimacy at the international institutions.
The criteria to evaluate the proposals will be discussed in this paper and the proposals would be evaluated based on them. There are four major challenges to democracy at the international institutions due to the increase of globalization. Economic and cultural mismatch with the democracy’s political boundaries; technical knowledge rises in importance; private sources of authority becomes more prominent; and unequal distribution of power among the states causes obstacles to the legitimacy of decision making. (William. D.Coleman et al, 2000) The economic geography on the basis of which the institutions function has created an own non territorial space.
States seek to address the mismatch between economic processes and the territorial limits to the exercise of political authority by pooling sovereignty and as the institutions created in this way increases in strength and autonomy, they erode the citizen’s involvement in to the policy making processes. This reduces the validity of democracy and also accountability (responsibility to be able to justify one's action with respect to social norms or law). The problem of accountability is further compounded by the fact that the participants in policymaking do not fully represent the entire range of states that are going to be affected by the policies.