THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATISATION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-Making?
Author: Saif Al-Islam Alqadhafi Date: 2007 Institution: Department of Philosophy of the London School of Economics for the degree Subject:History Degree: Ph.D. Supervisor: Tony Giddens
Abstract: This dissertation analyses the problem of how to create more just and democratic global
governing institutions, exploring the approach of a more formal system of collective
decision-making by the three main actors in global society: governments, civil society and
the business sector. The thesis seeks to make a contribution by presenting for discussion an
addition to the system of international governance that is morally justified and potentially
practicable, referred to as ‘Collective Management’. The thesis focuses on the role of civil
society, analysing arguments for and against a role for civil society that goes beyond ‘soft
power’ to inclusion as voting members in inter-governmental decision-making structures in
the United Nations (UN) system, the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) and other institutions.The thesis defends the argument that inclusion of elected representatives of non-
governmental organisations (NGOs) in tripartite decision-making structures could
potentially create a more democratic global governing system. This conclusion is supported
by a specially-commissioned survey of leading figures in NGOs and IGO decision-making
structures. The argument is developed in a case study of the WTO.
The thesis explains and adopts three philosophical foundations in support of the argument.
The first is liberal individualism; the thesis argues that there are strong motivations for free
individuals to seek fair terms of cooperation within the necessary constraints of being
members of a global society. Drawing on the works of David Hume, John Rawls and Ned
McClennen, it elaborates significant self-interested and moral motives that prompt
individuals to seek cooperation on fair terms if they expect others to do so. Secondly, it
supports a theory of global justice, rejecting the limits of Rawls’s view of international
justice based on what he calls ‘peoples’ rather than persons. Thirdly, the thesis adopts and
applies David Held’s eight cosmopolitan principles to support the concept and specific
structures of ‘Collective Management’.