Global Governance, Constitutionalism and Democracy

  • Roland Axtmann


This chapter reviews some of the developments and policies since the late 1970s that resulted in the ‘locking in’ of capitalism and the ‘locking out’ of democracy — within democratic states, at the level of the European Union (EU) and in international organisations. Particular attention is being paid to the processes of juridification and judicialisation, and, more broadly, the role of law in this political project of constraining democracy. It is suggested that this policy, and indeed the emergence of a global governance architecture, must be seen as an essential aspect of the political economy of capitalism and its reproduction. It is being argued that the current debate on global constitutionalisation and global constitutionalism systematically neglects to address the marginalisation of democratic institutions and politics and thus is complicit in entrenching neo-liberal policies. It is argued, with reference to Jürgen Habermas’s writings on global constitutionalisation and the ‘constitution’ of the European Union, that global constitutionalism is not the via regia to the resurgence of a democratic politics.


European Union World Trade Organisation Global Governance North American Free Trade Agreement Democratic Legitimacy 
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© Roland Axtmann 2014

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  • Roland Axtmann

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