The Virtuous Cycle: A New Paradigm for Democratizing Global Governance Through Deliberation

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This paper offers a new approach to democratic representation in global governance. Given the democratic deficit crisis of global governance institutions, questions on whether and how international civil society groups could strengthen democracy within international institutions are at the crux of current debates on global governance. A common premise suggests that that the incorporation of international civil society into global governance would result in the representation of a broader array of interests in the global arena. The article questions this premise, drawing on the experience of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the organization that has had the longest and deepest formal engagement with civil society groups. The article analyzes the Tripartite Structure of the ILO, the norm of freedom of association and recent reform to the ILO's Credential Committee. Drawing on this analysis, it advances an alternative paradigm for democratizing global governance, that of the Internal Functioning Approach.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalComparative Labor Law and Policy Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • International Labor Organization
  • International Labor Law
  • Freedom of Association
  • Tripartite Structure
  • Credentials Committee
  • Labor Law


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