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Conceptions of Democratic Governance in the Multilateral Realm: The Case of the WTO

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Abstract:

For a long time, the question of legitimacy, especially of democratic legitimacy was neglected in international relation studies. But in the past years there has been an impressive research addressingthis issue. The aim of this article is to review the conceptions of democratic legitimate governance in the multilateral realm with regard to the WTO. It starts with a summary on the theoretical foundations of democracy and legitimacy in the multilateral realm also highlighting the demos-problem. It gives then an overview on the different approaches to enhance the democratic legitimacy on a multilateral level such as enhancing accountability, stakeholder participation, transparency and the output of international organization. The final chapter takes a closer look at a recent comprehensive conception of democratic legitimacy in the international realm.

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