Global Governance and Democracy
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Global Governance and Democracy

A Multidisciplinary Analysis

Edited by Jan Wouters, Antoon Braekman, Matthias Lievens and Emilie Bécault

Globalization needs effective global governance. The important question of whether this governance can also become democratic is, however, the subject of a political and academic debate that began only recently. This multidisciplinary book aims to move this conversation forward by drawing insights from international relations, political theory, international law and international political economy. Focusing on global environmental, economic, security and human rights governance, it sheds new light on the democratic deficit of existing global governance structures, and proposes a number of tools to overcome it.
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Chapter 4: Democratizing global environmental governance? The case of transnational climate governance

Emilie Bécault


Since the mid-1990s, ‘governance’ has become a key organizing concept in studies of global-scale environmental policy-making. In its broadest sense, the term is used to characterize and assess the plethora of formal and informal mechanisms and instruments purposely established to deal with a host of global environmental threats including global climate change, the loss of the earth’s biodiversity, deforestation, desertification, the spread of toxic chemicals, and ozone layer depletion. But as witnessed in other areas of global concern (for example, human rights, global poverty, international peace and security), a more restricted notion of governance typically serves as a useful counterpoint, or, if not, a complement to the traditional state-centred regime approach in international relations (IR). By drawing attention to non-hierarchical, hybrid, and network-like forms of governing, a narrow definition unveils a more pluralistic vision of the international order, which, unlike the mainstream theories in IR such as neoliberalism and neorealism, neither posits international anarchy nor the primacy of sovereign state authority (Hurrell 2007, 3).

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