Democracy Without Borders: “On the Two Dimensions of Global Democracy”

By Petter Ölmunger

Democracy Without Borders promotes global democracy. But is it self-evident what this means? This article highlights two perspectives which this term includes.

What is democracy?

Before elaborating on the global dimension it is useful to look at the concept of democracy in general. Democracy means different things in different contexts to different people. The broad discussion on democracy therefore is characterized by a diversity of views which can be confusing. There are many different definitions on offer. Some try to imagine the ideal form of democracy. Others focus more on how democracy works in practice in a given context. Some definitions seek to explain differences or similarities between different dimensions of democracy, such as “representative”, “direct” or “deliberative” democracy. Others are more interested in the principles that democracy builds upon or promotes, such as equal inclusion and participation, or freedom of speech and assembly. This is an important and ongoing discussion. 

For the purpose of understanding the meaning of global democracy, it is possible to use a minimalistic definition that is based on agreed international statements and instruments.

[The rest of this piece can be read on the Democracy Without Borders website.]

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