Monday, January 28, 2013

Global Democratic Change

As put forth by Held (2009) 37: 535–547, there is an urgent need for the reorganization of global governance so as to ascertain democracy and self governance by individual states.  Näsström (2003:808) asserts that for democracy to exist there needs to be a group of autonomous individuals with distinct and identifiable political structures. Fioramonti (n.d, page 131- 141) describes the global civil society as the entirety of movements, structures and institutes that are affiliated to international establishments and concern themselves with global issues.Bull et al (2004: pp 481–482) on their part, claim that the greatest milestone in global governance and democracy over the years has to a large extent been instigated by the contributions of non-state actors also commonly referred to as the private sector. Bartelson (2008) 159-174 claims that the globalization of an autonomous society is possible if the appropriate framework is set in place. All these assertions point out that the contributions of non-state actors to the concept of global governance have come with a great force. Such realization has seen the creation of formerly unknown forms of international relationships involving autonomous states.
It is to be noted that the set joint ventures and international enterprises, with particular focus on NGOs, were in earlier times non-existent especially in states where there subsisted no congenial associations betweenthe multilateral establishments and the non-state segment.Bull et al (2004: 485–487) explain that there are indeed a myriad of reasons that necessitate the involvement of the non- state sector in issues of multilateral bodies. Initially, the different types of financial institutions such as banks were the most involved forms of private sectors in the affairs of multilateral organizations but recent years have seen the increased participation of the United Nations organizations as purported by Utting et al (2009) Supplement 1: 39–56. On his part, Fioramonti (n.d, pp 141), asserts that for a long time self-governing answerability has been seen as missing from the UN due to its alleged welcoming of perceived influences from multinational co operations. In light of this, non- state entities that advocate for autonomous international systems have thus stepped in to right the perceived wrong.
Research question
This paper aims at the demystification of the normative issue pertaining to what has led to increased involvement of non-state institutes and whether their increased participation influences global governance and democracy in a good and advantageous way or not.
Theoretical Framework
The theoretical framework in the tackling of the above question will involve the study of the topic and others related to it from reliable sources and the quotation of dependable experts on the same. With a great emphasis being placed on the involvement of the UN as a non state body, the types of non- state participation, its merits and demerits and effects on global governance will be exhausted before a conclusion is drawn at the end of the essay.
Key Words: Non-state Entities, NGOs, Multilateral Institutions, Self Governance, State and Global Civil Society

Types of Non-State Participation
According to Bull et al (2004: 485), it is evident that  in the recent times, a massive expansion of non- state organizations has been witnessed which has had a propensity for playing a collaborative role with the state institutions made possible through the formation of partnerships and co-operations aimed at both fiscal and political progression. Bull et al (2004:498), continue to further state that there are indeed five ways that can be used to differentiate the different forms of collaborations between the state and non- state institutions in any individual state.
One such category, according to Bull et al (2004: 485), is the policy dialogue. This takes place when the private and non-state leaders are allowed and welcomed to actively take part in the administration of the state or multilateral organizations and also in the legislative discussions that concern the same. Similarly, this is very common in many contemporary states especially relating to the myriad of the United Nations organizations that exist in the international scene (Riemann, 2006:45). Kamat (2004) 11(1): 155–176 therefore finds it necessary for the concept of NGOs and their role to be demystified especially in the event that privatization of public interest is to take place. With regard to this, it is evident that if, for example, a certain government wants to form commissions to oversee the control of a certain epidemic that has broken out within its boundaries, it is only normal that there will be representatives from the World health Organization who have their bases on its soil.
Second is the alliance formed between the state and non-state institutes  in making the public knowledgeable about certain issues that are of interest to the government in question; this is what Bull et al (2004:483) refer to as advocacy partnerships.This is succinctly evidenced in the cases of NGOs. For example,the association between the UNDP and CISCO institute, which led to the formation of the NetAid Website thirteen years ago, aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of paucity.
A third form of the collaboration between state and non-state organizations are seen in the establishments of information and learning partnerships; this is when stakeholders from the private sector congregate with those from governmental bodies with the aim of joining hands in the conduction of studies, enquiries and investigations about noteworthy issues in the society and then making the public aware of the research outcomes.
The two last ways in which the relationships between state and non-state institutes are visualized, according to Bull et al (2004: 481) are the role played by the non- state sector in the mobilization of private funds and the operations thereafter. The two sides may come together with the intent of marshalling resources to be used in the advancement or implementation of governmental initiatives. Operation involves non-state sector playing an active role in the drawing up of plans, their execution and eventual assessment of the feasibility of the drawn projects. Bull et al (2004: 483) give as an example the relations between UNHCR, Microsoft and their allies in an effort to advance the collection and storage of data related to the predicament of refugees.
Bexell et al (2010) 16(1): 81–101 is of the view that in the pursuit of global governance and democracy the transnational agents involved may serve to enhance the process or bring it down. It is therefore important to look at some views of different proponents and opponents of the increased participation of non-state entities in multilateral organizations.
In Support of the Participation of Non- state Actors
The most actively involved private organizations as stated earlier on by Bull et al (2004:485) are the multilateral financial firms and the United Nations organizations; and there are several reasons for this. In the recent years the UN has increased its participations in the private sector and Bulls et al (2004) claim that this has been due to the failure of affiliated states to provide the necessary monetary support for the UN. Consequently, it has plunged into chronic fiscal problems that can only be solved through the involvement of the private sector.
Another reason that has lead to increased participation by the non- state institutes in the UN is the fact that a paradigm shift of philosophy has occurred in the UN. Previously, as Bull et al (2004: 484) asserts that the existence of neo-Marxist philosophies in the UN body had distanced the non- state institutes but this is no longer the case. One good example is the fact that the UN has in recent days formed The Global Compact aimed at the formulation of principles and guidelines that will directthe social accountability procedures of corporate in the international arena. Another reason for the inclination of non-state institutes towards the multilateral ones is the shift of leadership in the UN.When, in 1997 Kofi Anan was appointed, his commerce degree and prior know how of the operations non- state establishments came in handy in encouraging formation of partnerships with the UN.
Reimann (2006:67) claims that the involvement of non-state entities- particularly the NGOS- have played great roles in the establishment of global organizations that have provided assistance in the event of strife and humanitarian states. Gould (2009) 40 (1): 24–41 also puts in that the NGOs are very instrumental in ensuring that the human rights of all individuals on the face of the globe are upheld. They have also aided independent states in the supplying of crucial data for the agendas involving the role of the media and lobbying of the masses support for viable governmental initiatives. Another very important role according to him is that the UN has been very significant in the staffing of competent individuals to aid in the formation and implementation of drawn work plans. Apart from providing hire for many, the masses have also benefited from the numerous initiatives.
The supporters of the private sector domination, as put forth by Bull et al (2004:481–482),also claim that the collaboration of the state and non-state institutions is very reasonable and productive due to the fact that it gives an alternative way for individual states to promote the progression of the economic and political ventures within their boundaries especially in cases where the more developed nations are hesitant to provide them with the fiscal aid or assistance that they need to do so.
Against the participation of non-state actors
According to Uhlin (2011:817), there is in existencea loophole in the promotion or display of democracy in the global governance issues by non- state entities due to lack their lack of accountability and transparency.Bull et al (2004:482) point out that the opponents of the increased involvement of non- state establishments have for long disputed that these increased activities of the private sector are to be blamed for the economic disruption that has occurred to the multilateral organizations.
Fioramonti (n.d:141) on his side argues that there may exist- among the members of non-state entities different mind-set on what is meant by democracy and global governance. Apart from this difficulty, it also exposes the fears that there will arise a predicament when it comes to the determination of what principles and interests are worthy of being supported and advanced by the non-state entities and which ones are not.
The non-state involvement might lead to the reduction of the sovereignty of individual states and their legislative authority especially when the non- state entities are allowed to overly involve themselves in the affairs of administration. Näsström (n.d:834) argues that democracy is a result of stable political authority and the participation of non- state organizations will challenge this. Murphy (2000) 76(4): 789–803 claims that the reason why there are problems in the implementation of global governance and democracy is that the concept is not accurately understood by many who are engaged in the implementation process.
Effects of state and non-state associations on global governance
Bull et al (2004:498) state that the involvement of the non-state bodies will discourage the rigidity in the multilateral entities and increase fluidity which will be feasible for enhanced democracy in global governance. Nevertheless, some demerits such as the misrepresentation, break up or alteration of the set UN guidelines which might interfere with its activities.
Fioramonti (n.d138) claims that the first problem with this involvement is the predicaments that non-state entities face in proving their answerability and allegiance to democracy. As Scholte (2007:27) asserts, this issue is more profound when it comes to financial accountability and the transparency of the internal functions of the entities. Fioramonti (n.d:137) further asserts that there is little participation of the masses at the grass root levels when it comes to implementation of non- state initiatives. As a result, these organisations are aristocratic and full of domestic competition. In such cases, as put forth by Grant (2005) 99: 29–43, the occurrence and frequency of embezzlement of public funds and misuse of authority is bound to thrive.
Cox (1992) is very exact in her assertion that there exist interrelations between globalization, multilateralism and democracy. From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that thegenuine self-autonomy in NGOs can only be achieved when there is present a system in which the people are allowed to participate in governance.  The differentiation of self governance and liberalization is therefore tantamount. This argument has the implication that in recent times, many NGOs have agreed to the signing of the Accountability Charter that aims to solve the many issues that critics have used as combat points.In essence, the associations between non- state and multilateral entities are symbiotic and worthwhile if each side accomplishes its obligations satisfactorily.

Bartelson, J., 2008. “Globalizing the Democratic Community”, Ethics & Global Politics 1(4): 159-174.
Bexell, M. – T. & Jonas – U. A., 2010. “Democracy in Global Governance: The Promises and Pitfalls of Transnational Actors”, Global Governance 16(1): 81–101. (20 pp)
Bull, B. – B. M. & – McNeill, D., 2004. “Private Sector Influence in the Multilateral System: A Changing Structure of World Governance?” Global Governance 10(4): 481–498. (17 pp)
Cox, R. W., 1992“Globalization, Multilateralism and Democracy”, Academic Council on the United Nations, the ACUNS 1992  John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture Will be distributed in class (12 pp)
Fioramonti, L.: The internal contradictions of global civil society– What impact on global democracy? Development Dialogue November 2007 – global civil society pp 131- 141
Gould, C., 2009. “Structuring global Democracy: Political Communities, Universal Human Rights, and Transnational Representation”, Metaphilosophy 40 (1): 24–41.
Grant, R. W. –K. & Robert, O., 2005. “Accountability and abuses of power in world politics”, American Political Science Review 99: 29–43
Held, D. 2009“Restructuring Global Governance: Cosmopolitanism, Democracy and the Global Order”, Millennium - Journal of International Studies 37: 535–547.
Kamat, S., 2004 “The privatization of public interest: theorizing NGO discourse in a neoliberal era”, Review of International Political Economy 11(1): 155–176.
Murphy, C. N., 2000. “Global Governance: Poorly Done and Poorly Understood”, International Affairs 76(4): 789–803.
Näsström, S, 2003. “What Globalization Overshadows”, Political Theory 31(6): 808–834.
Reimann, K. D., 2006. “A View from the Top: International Politics, Norms and the Worldwide Growth of NGOs”, International Studies Quarterly 50: 45–67.
Scholte, J. A., 2007 “Global civil Society – Opportunity or Obstacle for Democracy?”Development Dialogue 49: 15–27
Uhlin, A., 2011. “National democratization theory and global governance: civil society and the liberalization of the Asian Development Bank” Democratization 18(3): 817–841.
Utting, P.  & Ann, 2009 “United Nations-Business Partnerships: Good Intentions and Contradictory Agendas”, Journal of Business Ethics 9