W. Andy Knight
This chapter examines the UN’s role in promoting and encouraging democracy and good governance. The world organizations is in a pivotal position to help promote and strengthen the global norm that posits that democracy validates the quality of governance today. In order to be considered ‘democratic,’ governments should not only hold periodic free and fair elections and demonstrate the ability to govern inclusively and humanely. In addition, they should also respect human rights and the rule of law. Concurrently, the chapter argues that the UN should practice what it preaches and address its own democratic deficit, even as it helps to strengthen democracy at the national level.
This article considers methods for the detection and identification of ideas and norms and evaluates their effects on politics. It discusses some methods for detecting ideas including the drawing of causal inferences from statistical correlations and regressions, experimental designs, psychological studies, counterfactual reasoning, and process-tracing which might involve archival research and interviews. It also investigates whether ideas move politics and evaluates whether they can maintain to do so from the local level to the systemic level of world politics.
David E. Apter
This article examines the relevance of discourse in politics taking Duchamp's urinal as an example. It suggests that discourse is not a major concern in social and political analysis and proposes that discourse theory is more than an addendum to political science. It attempts to make the case that discourse theory is, for political analysis a way of understanding those aspects of politics that have to do with context and meaning. It analyses how events are endowed with meaning and examines in these terms how discourse becomes a source as well as a means of political power.
Is ecological democracy possible? If so, what would it entail? This chapter first reviews the literature based in deliberative democracy that proposes to extend communicative competence to non-humans, and then traces an alternative constructivist line of environmental political thinking from its beginnings in the strand of science and technology studies pioneered by Bruno Latour and others known as actor-network theory, through two actor-network theory-inspired approaches to political theory, “object-oriented democracy” and “material politics/participation.” Whereas this alternative approach solves some of the conundrums to which the communicative model gives rise, it is neither as radical a departure from politics as it is “normally understood,” nor as political as its proponents claim.
In recent public and activist debates, threats to the sustainability of the global ecosystem, such as climate change, have increasingly been posed in terms that link the impact on human well-being to questions of rights. Environmental human rights are emerging in national and international legal practice and have been invoked by environmental political theorists seeking to explicate and justify obligations to protect and sustain the environment and to secure justice for both contemporary communities and future generations. This chapter addresses three key questions in order to unpack the concept of environmental human rights: (1) Why adopt a human rights approach? (2) How have environmental human rights been conceived? and (3) What does an account of environmental human rights entail for rights holders and duty bearers?
Axel Dreher, Valentin F. Lang, and Sebastian Ziaja
This chapter reviews the aid effectiveness literature to assess whether foreign aid given to areas of limited statehood (ALS) can be expected to promote economic and social outcomes in the recipient country. It distinguishes between different types of aid, motives for granting it, recipient country policies and characteristics, and the modalities by which aid is delivered, as these factors have been argued to influence its effectiveness. This chapter then compares these properties between recipients most affected by limited statehood and those least affected. This allows us to assess the relative effectiveness of aid in countries with ALS. We conclude that on average aid given there is less likely to be effective than elsewhere. As countries with ALS, however, constitute a heterogeneous group, the specifics of individual countries and the types of aid given matter.
Framing and nudging are both ways of designing the contexts that influence people’s interpretations and choices. Both have recently garnered significant attention as potential methods for effecting environmental change. Toward this goal, both attempt to work with certain human characteristics and tendencies in order to encourage rather than force people to live more sustainably. Critics rightly worry that government, “experts,” or other leaders may frame and nudge in manipulative, paternalistic, individualizing, and superficial ways, treating people as objects to be swayed or managed within existing value-systems and institutions. Yet the context design accomplished by framing and nudging cannot be avoided in communal life. The question, then, is not whether to engage in these activities, but how. This chapter argues that context design can be a democratic tool for a greener future, promoting deliberation about environmental issues and encouraging communal self-nudging toward more ecologically balanced forms of living.
Tobias Berger and Milli Lake
This chapter examines the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy by external actors in areas of limited statehood. It begins with the definition of key terms and a brief overview of the historical trajectory in which contemporary interventions by external actors unfold. We then discuss cross-cutting issues and introduce the key actors involved in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. Analysing each of these issue areas in turn, we make three overarching arguments. Firstly, we highlight the multiplicity of outcomes that result from external interventions, whose impacts prove highly unevenly and spatially dispersed. Secondly, we emphasize the crucial influence of local actors and pre-existing institutions in shaping the outcomes of any governance intervention. Finally, we note that external actors have tended to rely on state-centric conceptualizations of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
Marianne Beisheim, Anne Ellersiek, and Jasmin Lorch
This chapter analyses two groups of non-profit external non-state governance actors that are active in areas of limited statehood (ALS): international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs). After some examples of the collective goods these actors provide in contexts of limited statehood, their effectiveness is assessed in terms of output, outcome, and impact. It is found that in ALS, the activities of MSPs and INGOs can become part of the solution, but may also exacerbate existing problems. Empirical research shows that it is already demanding for INGOs and MSPs to produce good output in ALS, let alone broader impact. The analysis provides insights on the conditions under which INGOs and MSPs can—and cannot—successfully provide governance in ALS and how their activities impact limited statehood itself. Finally, the findings are discussed against the background of recent trends affecting governance by external state and non-state actors in ALS.
John Rawls’ Political Liberalism is much more than just an effort to correct what Rawls saw as an error in his masterwork, A Theory of Justice. The political liberalism of Political Liberalism stands on its own. It is liberal in a new way, and political in the right way. By examing what makes the theory liberal and what makes it political, the chapter brings out a feature of the theory that has not been sufficiently emphasized—its dynamic character. Rawls’ political liberalism invites citizens to revise even their liberal views as they seek agreement while continuing to disagree.