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Doing Democracy Differently : Political Practices and Transnational Civil Society, Paperback / softback Book

Doing Democracy Differently : Political Practices and Transnational Civil Society Paperback / softback


During recent decades, the arenas of political decision-making have increasingly shifted from national governments to intergovernmental and transnational political forums.

At the same time, the number and relevance of non-state actors in international politics is steadily growing.

These trends have led political scientists to study and theorize about new forms of democracy beyond the national political arenas (Archibugi 2004, Bexell et al. 2010, Nasstrom 2010). However, democracy beyond the nation state is difficult to conceptualize with the idea of an institutionalized democracy within the borders of nation-states.

Therefore, many political scientists emphasize the role of civil society actors as a cure for the democratic deficit in international politics (Steffek & Nanz 2008).

Yet, normative and empirical problems arise over the extent of access, selection and role of civil society actors in international organizations (Tallberg et al. 2013). Furthermore, the normative relevance of transnational civil society actors makes it necessary to study their own democratic legitimacy.The study is divided into three parts: first, a conceptual part that clarifies the question of how democracy as practice can be theoretically conceptualized in transnational civil society networks, which is followed by an empirical exploration of political practice in the transnational civil society networks. In this second part, the main question is how participation, representation and deliberation practice develops in transnational civil society networks.

Two cases of transnational civil society networks, the Clean Clothes Campaign and Friends of the Earth, are analyzed to provide insights into the democratic practice within transnational civil society.

In the final part, the empirical findings are evaluated in the light of the outlined concepts of democratic theory in order to explore how democratic the political practice actually is.The study identifies implicit and in-process practice of democratic norms in transnational civil society networks.

Political practice in transnational civil society networks can become democratic through empowerment measures and trustful relationships.However, deliberation practice can be impeded by disembodied digital communication and complex decision-making.

The study explores how new forms of democratic practice emerge in the interaction between political actors and the structural environments of actors and networks.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Verlag Barbara Budrich
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Political ideologies
  • ISBN: 9783863887209



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