Political Science | Political Philosophy
Y675 | 25577 | Scyheuerman

Topic:  Globalization and the Fate of Democracy

The intensification of globalization has spawned a dramatic revival
of interest in normative theorizing about international relations.
One of the most important questions driving that revival is
straightforward yet obviously important: to the extent that
globalization poses significant challenges to nation state-based
democracy, how might democracy be reconfigured in order to salvage
and perhaps even deepen it? In order to grapple with this question,
this course takes a careful look at ambitious recent proposals to
extend democracy to the transnational level. Because much of the
recent literature draws its inspiration from Immanuel Kant, we begin
by examining Kant's much maligned ideas about international
politics. We subsequently turn to a series of contemporary authors
(especially Juergen Habermas and David Held) who build on Kant by
outlining models of transnational or "cosmopolitan" democracy which
they consider both normatively attractive and politically realistic.
Not surprisingly, these proposals have been subject to a series of
incisive (realist, communitarian, radical democratic, liberal,
legalist, and postmodern) critiques, each of which we consider.
After completing our discussion of the ongoing debate about
transnational democracy, we consider the one possible "case study"
of real-life transnational democratization, the European Union, in
order to determine whether the theoretical literature examined in
the course can help us understand the major changes underway there,
as well as their potential relevance to other political settings.