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Strengthening the citizens' role in international organizations


Frey, Bruno S; Stutzer, Alois (2006). Strengthening the citizens' role in international organizations. Review of International Organizations, 1(1):27-43.

Abstract

Today’s international organizations are characterized by a fundamental deficit in democracy. We therefore propose institutional measures to increase the direct participation possibilities of the citizens in international organizations. In order to reduce the number of citizens involved in decision-making to a manageable size, a representative sample of trustees is selected using a random mechanism. The trustees are given the right to launch initiatives and to vote in referendums on issues related to an international organization’s constitution. They can also recall executives when they are dissatisfied with their behavior. No specific changes to the organization of these entities, especially their executive function, are proposed. Rather, the executives of international organizations must obey the constitutional changes adopted by the trustees. The proposal gives international organizations democratic legitimacy. Moreover, the executives are subjected to the control of the citizens of the member states, which induces better responsiveness to the preferences of the people, as well as higher organizational efficiency.

Today’s international organizations are characterized by a fundamental deficit in democracy. We therefore propose institutional measures to increase the direct participation possibilities of the citizens in international organizations. In order to reduce the number of citizens involved in decision-making to a manageable size, a representative sample of trustees is selected using a random mechanism. The trustees are given the right to launch initiatives and to vote in referendums on issues related to an international organization’s constitution. They can also recall executives when they are dissatisfied with their behavior. No specific changes to the organization of these entities, especially their executive function, are proposed. Rather, the executives of international organizations must obey the constitutional changes adopted by the trustees. The proposal gives international organizations democratic legitimacy. Moreover, the executives are subjected to the control of the citizens of the member states, which induces better responsiveness to the preferences of the people, as well as higher organizational efficiency.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:07 May 2008 09:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1559-7431
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s11558-006-6605-1
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2478

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