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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines citizen participation in international organizations (IOs). The focus on citizen participation builds on the understanding of participation as a principle of governance in democratic theory. It begins by summarizing and reflecting upon the major patterns of participation for IOs. It then deals with the special case of European Union (EU) governance in which participatory rights are most thoroughly enshrined at the international level. Evidence suggests that the greater inclusion of transnational civil society organizations enhances the plurality of views that enter international decision-making processes. Together with the enhanced skills and technological means available to civil society, the opening up of IOs thus gives a broader range of affected communities a chance to voice their interests on issues such as climate change and the rules that should guide world trade. Within the EU, the ‘democratic minimum’ that allows citizens to make use of participatory opportunities is guaranteed for a much broader range of citizens. In such a context, institutionalizing the right forms of participation can do more if done properly.

Keywords: International organizations, membership, International organizations, practice and procedure, International organizations, resolutions, Procedural law in international organizations, European Union (EU)

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