Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Democracy Deficit

The Democracy Deficit: Taming Globalization Through Law Reform

Alfred C. Aman
Copyright Date: 2004
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 253
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Democracy Deficit
    Book Description:

    Economic globalization has had a chilling effect on democracy since markets now do some of the work that governments used to do through the political process. More than two decades of deregulation have made a healthy economy appear to depend on unrestrained markets. But appearances are misleading - globalization is also a legal and political process. The future of democracy in the twenty-first century depends on the ability of citizens to reclaim a voice in taming globalization through domestic politics and law reform. "The book's topic could not be more important: how do we adapt contemporary democratic governance- and contemporary administrative law- to the challenge of a globalizing world?" - Kal Raustiala, UCLA School of Law Can citizens govern globalization? Aman argues that they can, and that domestic law has a crucial role to play in this process. He proposes to redefine the legal distinction between public and private to correspond to the realities of the new role of the private sector in delivering public services, and thereby to bring crucial sectors of globalization back within the scope of democratic reform. Basing his argument on the history of the policies that led to globalization, and the current policies that sustain it, Aman advocates specific reforms meant to increase private citizens' influence on globalization. He looks at particular problem areas usually thought to be domestic in nature, such as privatization, prisons, prescription drugs, and the minimum wage, as well as constitutional structural issues such as federalism and separation of powers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-0534-6
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Introduction: The Domestic Face of Globalization
    (pp. 1-14)

    Can citizens govern globalization? This book argues that they can, and that the state, through the creative use of its own domestic law, has a crucial role to play in this process. I use the term “globalization” to refer to pluralistic, multicentered and dynamic processes involving interrelationships among states and nonstate entities across national boundaries.¹ Global activities differ from international activities, in that the latter occur only between and among states and state entities.² When we refer to globalization, the area of interrelation might be the whole world or geographically distinct regions.³ The key element that distinguishes globalization from international...

  5. 1 Three Eras of Administrative Law and Agency Regulation
    (pp. 15-50)

    Before we can pursue an alternative vision of globalization for the sake of addressing at least some of the more critical aspects of the democracy deficit, we must examine how, why, and where it was and is that the present global era is so widely imagined (and institutionalized) as involving an inevitable tradeoff between law and markets as forms of power. The net result of the last twenty-five years of globalization has been a vast expansion of the tendency to conceptualize government functions in terms of the values placed on efficiency and individual economic rights. As already noted, individualism, economic...

  6. 2 Federalisms Old and New: The Vertical Dimensions of Globalization
    (pp. 51-86)

    Domestic federalism and internationalization should be seen as different aspects of denationalization. Devolving power to the states quite literally denationalizes federal policy; delegating power upwards to international organizations also places the policy focus elsewhere, shifting it from the national to the international level. There is also a third kind of delegation at work as well, often de facto in nature; that is, there are a number of issues the federal government chooses to leave to the market and the private sector, either because the government concludes that market outcomes are the best we can achieve or, as is the case...

  7. 3 Privatization and Deregulation: The Horizontal Dimensions of Globalization
    (pp. 87-128)

    Chapter 2 focused on the vertical dimensions of the impact of globalization on state actors, considering federalism as a suprastate arrangement, as well as on the supranational institutions of the international sphere and their relationships to the United States as a single member state. This chapter turns to the horizontal dimensions of globalization, by which I mean primarily privatization and some types of deregulation. The main examples involve the privatization of prisons and social services. These examples highlight the ways the global era’s formula of deregulation through (and to) the private sector contract public discourse around economic terms alone. Later...

  8. 4 The Implications of the Globalizing State for Law Reform
    (pp. 129-182)

    As we have seen, the United States (as a globalizing state) approaches problems in ways that often resemble those of the global corporate entities the government seeks to influence. Thus, like global corporations, states downsize, decentralize, maximize flexibility, or deregulate, and call upon the market and private actors to achieve their goals.¹ Contracting out to the private sector is an increasingly common way for states to carry out their public responsibilities. Administrative agencies also use various market structures and market regulatory techniques, with increasing frequency, to carry out their duties.² All of these approaches and interactions with the private sector...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 183-242)
  10. Index
    (pp. 243-252)
  11. About the Author
    (pp. 253-253)