Part of the work on this article was completed while Michael Goodhart was a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; he gratefully acknowledges the Foundation’s support. The authors are also grateful to Dan London, to Daniela Donno-Panayides, and to several anonymous readers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of this essay.
The New Sovereigntist Challenge for Global Governance: Democracy without Sovereignty1
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2011
© 2011 International Studies Association
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 55, Issue 4, pages 1047–1068, December 2011
How to Cite
Goodhart, M. and Taninchev, S. B. (2011), The New Sovereigntist Challenge for Global Governance: Democracy without Sovereignty. International Studies Quarterly, 55: 1047–1068. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2011.00691.x
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2011
The “new sovereigntists,” a prominent group of scholars and policymakers, articulate a widely held view that global governance is inherently undemocratic because it undermines popular sovereignty. Problems with their argument notwithstanding, we argue that they identify a real and serious tension. We also argue, however, that the vision of democracy as popular sovereignty that they advocate is becoming incoherent and untenable in an era of increasing interdependence. Conceptions of democracy anchored in popular sovereignty depend for their legitimacy on empirical conditions that no longer obtain. What we call the new sovereigntist challenge for global governance is to develop an alternate conception of democracy that avoids the logic and forms of popular sovereignty at the global level while still respecting and promoting democracy and democratization within states. We outline one such alternative here.