School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Democracy in a Pluralist Global Order: Corporate Power and Stakeholder Representation
    Macdonald, K ; Macdonald, T (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2010-01-01)
    Whereas representative democratic mechanisms have generally been built around preexisting institutional structures of sovereign states, the global political domain lacks any firmly constitutionalized or sovereign structures that could constitute an analogous institutional backbone within a democratic global order. Instead, global public power can best be characterized as “pluralist” in structure. Some recent commentators have argued that if global democratization is to succeed at all, it must proceed along a trajectory beginning with the construction of global sovereign institutions and culminating in the establishment of representative institutions to control them. This paper challenges this view of the preconditions for global democratization, arguing that democratization can indeed proceed at a global level in the absence of sovereign structures of public power. In order to gain firmer traction on these questions, analysis focuses on the prospects for democratic control of corporate power, as constituted and exercised in one particular institutional context: sectoral supply chain systems of production and trade. It is argued that global democratization cannot be straightforwardly achieved simply by replicating familiar representative democratic institutions (based on constitutional separations of powers and electoral control) on a global scale. Rather, it is necessary to explore alternative institutional means for establishing representative democratic institutions at the global level within the present pluralist structure of global power.
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    Non-state actors in Economic Diplomacy
    MacDonald, K ; Woolcock, S ; Bayne, N ; Woolcock, S (Ashgate Publishing, Limited, 2007)
    Both the centrality and the legitimacy of the state's role in policy-making has tended to be taken for granted within much domestic and international political scholarship and practice- at least in the context of liberal democratic institutional arrangements. It is generally expected that state actors will have a range of central roles in the conduct of economic diplomacy, including representation of particular interest groups or constituencies, technical administration and representation of national interests on the international stage. Both the efficacy and legitimacy of these roles are being challenged due to effects of globalisation such as increased pressures from global capital, increasingly 'deep integration' of national economies and the changing character and rising influence of the non-state actors that comprise the subject of this chapter.