Global democratization and international regime complexity

J.W. Kuyper

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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How can democracy best be pursued and promoted in the existing global system? In this article, I propose a novel suggestion: democratization should occur at the level of international regime complexity. Because each issue-area of world politics is distinct, we require tailor-made (as opposed to one-size-fits-all) responses to the global democratic deficit. I conceptualize global democracy as an ongoing process of democratization in which a set of core normative values are more or less satisfied. I explicate equal participation, accountability, and institutional revisability as those key standards. I argue that the democratization of regime complexes should occur across two distinct planes: (1) the realm of multilateral negotiations; and (2) institutional forms of democratic experimentalism between rule-makers and rule-takers. I evaluate and defend the potential of this argument by analyzing the intellectual property rights regime complex. Because intellectual property rights represent a 'tough case' for global democrats, we should be optimistic about the democratization of alternative regime complexes. © The Author(s) 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-646
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Cited By :6

Export Date: 19 September 2018

Correspondence Address: Kuyper, J. W.; Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, House F, Plan 5, Universitetsvägen 10, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden; email:

Funding details: PEI, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University

Funding text: Jonathan Kuyper is a postdoctoral researcher at Stockholm University, Sweden as part of the Transdemos and Transaccess research projects (headed by Professor Jonas Tallberg). He completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 2012, during which time he was a visiting student at the European University Institute and Princeton University. He has been granted multiple awards and scholarships including the AEUIFA and an Australian government Endeavour Award. His work has been published in Public Reason, Journal of Public Deliberation , and other outlets.

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  • Accountability
  • cosmopolitanism
  • experimental governance
  • global democracy
  • global governance
  • intellectual property rights
  • regime complexity


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