Democratic globalization is a social movement towards an institutional system of global democracy that would give world citizens a say in world organizations. This would, in their view, bypass nation-states, corporate oligopolies, ideological NGOs, cults and mafias. One of its most prolific proponents is the British political thinker David Held. In the last decade he published a dozen books regarding the spread of democracy from territorially defined nation states to a system of global governance that encapsulates the entire world.
These proponents state that democratic globalization's purpose is to:
- Expand globalization and make people closer and more united;
- Have it reach all fields of activity and knowledge, not only the governmental one, but also the economic, since the economic one is crucial to develop the well-being of world citizens; and
- Give world citizens democratic access and a say in those global activities.
Supporters of the democratic globalization movement draw a distinction between their movement and the one most popularly known as the 'anti-globalization' movement, claiming that their movement avoids ideological agenda about economics and social matters. Democratic globalization supporters state that the choice of political orientations should be left to the world citizens, via their participation in world democratic institutions. Some proponents in the "anti-globalization movement" do not necessarily disagree with this position. For example, George Monbiot, normally associated with the anti-globalization movement (who prefers the term Global Justice Movement) in his work Age of Consent has proposed similar democratic reforms of most major global institutions, suggesting direct democratic elections of such bodies, and suggests a form of "world government."
Democratic globalization supports the extension of political democratization to economic and financial globalization. It is based upon an idea that free international transactions benefit the global society as a whole. They believe in financially open economies, where the government and central bank must be transparent in order to retain the confidence of the markets, since transparency spells doom for autocratic regimes. They promote democracy that makes leaders more accountable to the citizenry through the removal of restrictions on such transactions.
The democratic globalization movement started to get public attention when New York Times reported its demonstration to contest a World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Washington, November 1999. This gathering was to criticize unfair trade and undemocratic globalization of the WTO, World Bank, World Economic Forum (WEF), the International Monetary Fund. Its primary tactics were public rallies, street theater and civil disobedience.
Democratic globalization, proponents claim, would be reached by creating democratic global institutions and changing international organizations (which are currently intergovernmental institutions controlled by the nation-states), into global ones controlled by world citizens. The movement suggests to do it gradually by building a limited number of democratic global institutions in charge of a few crucial fields of common interest. Its long-term goal is that these institutions federate later into a full-fledged democratic world government.
- Cosmopolitan democracy
- Democratic mundialization
- Democratic peace theory
- Global governance
- Internationalism (politics)
- National sovereignty
- Global justice
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