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Access_open Democracy, Constitutionalism and the Question of Authority

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden international constitutionalism, democracy, international law, fragmentation, international politics
Auteurs Wouter G. Werner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper agrees with Walker on the existence of a tension between democracy and constitutionalism, but questions whether democracy and (international) constitutionalism necessarily depend on each other. While democracy needs constitutionalism on normative grounds, as an empirical matter it may also rest on alternative political structures. Moreover, it is questionable whether democracy is indeed the solution to the incompleteness of international constitutionalism. Traditional forms of democracy do not lend themselves well to transplantation to the international level and could even intensify some problems of international governance. Attempts to democratize international relations should be carried out prudentially, with due regard for possible counterproductive effects.


Wouter G. Werner
Wouter Werner is Professor of Public International Law at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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