Legal Principles of a New World Governance
The Democratic Legitimacy of Public-Private Rule Making: What Can We Learn from the World Comission of Dams?
The Extraterritorial Scope of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
Another System of International Relations
Giving Africa Voice within Global Governance: Oral History, Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council
Hearing on Neo-liberal Politics and European Transnational Corporations in Latin America and the Caribbean
The Great Together
The Emergence of Global Administrative Law
Universal Declaration of Emerging Human Rights
Global Governance and the Achievement of a Universal Civil Society
Fourteen misconceptions about extraterritorial human rights obligations
Can Civil Society Influence G8 Accountability?
Inventing a New World Governance Now
The IMF, the World Bank, and Respect of Human Rights
Low-carbon Economy and Sustainable Development
"Biocivilization" for the Sustainability of Life and of the Planet. Video on the Workshop
Conceptualising Global Democracy
People-centered Global Governance: Making It Happen!
Moving Toward a New World Governance
Political Parties and Global Democracy
Letter to our readers and to the Mandela World Liberation Front
Governance for Sustainability
Fair Coop, the Earth cooperative for a fair economy
Charter of the Peoples of the Earth
Regulating Transnational Companies: 46 Proposals
Can We Close the Education Gap?
Theories of Global Governance
The Cosmopolitan State
Rediscovering Nelson Mandela for the Twenty-first Century
For a Democratic Cosmopolitarian Movement
Could the COP 21 be our next Westphalian Moment?
China: Sustainable Development Strategy Report 2009
What Brazil and What Amazonia Does the World Need?
Rethinking and Changing World Governance
The State’s Legitimacy in Fragile Situations
Reclaiming the ASEAN Community for the People
Beyond 2015: Media as Democracy and Development
For a World Citizen Movement
New Rules for New Radicals ? *
From the Forum for a new World Governance (FnWG) to the World Democratic Forum (WDF)
This essay examines the rise of legal cosmopolitanism in the period since the UDHR of 1948 as it gives rise to two very distinct sets of literature and preoccupations. The mainly negative conclusions drawn by conventional political theory about the possibility of reconciling democratic sovereignty, are contrasted with a transnational legal order to the utopianism of contemporary legal scholarship that projects varieties of global constitutionalism with or without the state.
The author argues that transnational human rights norms strengthen rather than weaken democratic sovereignty. Distinguishing between a ‘concept’ and a ‘conception’ of human rights, I claim that self-government in a free public sphere and free civil society is essential to the concretization of the necessarily abstract norms of human rights. Benhabib’s thesis is that without the right to self-government, which is exercised through proper legal and political channels, we cannot justify the range of
variation in the content of basic human rights as being legitimate. She names processes through which rights-norms are contextualized in polities ‘democratic iterations.’
The institutionalization of human rights norms through democratic iterations that permit their revision, rearticulation and contestation, both within judicial institutions and in the larger spheres of civil society, exhibits certain ‘epistemic virtues’ and shows, in Allen Buchanan’s words, ‘public practical reason’ at work.
In conclusion, in addition to Buchanan’s thesis, the author considers Anne-Marie Slaughter’s concept of ‘transjudicial communication,’ and Judith Resnik’s model of ‘law by affiliation’. These three models, like ‘democratic iterations,’ develop modalities of thinking beyond the binarism of the cosmopolitan versus the civic republican; democratic versus the international and transnational; democratic sovereignty versus human rights law.