Concepts for International Law
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Concepts for International Law

Contributions to Disciplinary Thought

Edited by Jean d’Aspremont and Sahib Singh

Concepts shape how we understand and participate in international legal affairs. They are an important site for order, struggle and change. This comprehensive and authoritative volume introduces a large number of concepts that have shaped, at various points in history, international legal practice and thought; intimates at how the many projects of international law have grappled with, and influenced, the world through certain concepts; and introduces new concepts into the discipline.
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Chapter 12: Democracy

Hilary Charlesworth

Abstract

Over the past few decades, democracy has become an international concept. This chapter surveys international legal encounters with the concept of democracy: its use in international institutions, in the recognition of states, in decisions to intervene in a state, and in the human rights field. It is critical of the limited notion of democracy that emerges in international practice and argues for a substantive account of democracy based on the goal of accountability for and prevention of the arbitrary use of power.

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