Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

How to diagnose democratic deficits in global politics: the use of the “all affected principle"

Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias ORCID: 0000-0003-4637-9477 (2017) How to diagnose democratic deficits in global politics: the use of the “all affected principle". International Theory, 9 (2). pp. 171-202. ISSN 1752-9719

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (463kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1017/S1752971916000312


Is there a “democratic deficit” in global politics? If so, which changes in institutions and practices can mitigate it? Empirically oriented scholars who ask such questions often use as a yardstick the normative principle that people significantly affected by a decision should be able to take part in reaching that decision. This “all affected principle” is also endorsed by prominent political theorists. However, its most logically consistent interpretation seems so demanding that it casts doubt on the principle’s usefulness to guide the assessment of real-world situations, since it appears to require that virtually everyone in the world should have a say on any proposal or any proposal for proposals. The argument presented here intends to rescue the principle as a tool for empirical assessments of real-world situations by stressing its role in comparative judgements and especially by showing that its implications are not too expansive and/or indeterminate, once we take into account that certain types of prior decisions significantly restrict the agenda of other decisions in a systematic way. The theoretical guidance for empirical research offered in the first part of the article is then illustrated with an application to global child labor policies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 15:25
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:29

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics