Towards a Theory of Democratic Global Economic Governance: Hybridization of Soft and Hard Law in the Case of Gender within the World Trade Organization

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Creator: 

Fabian, Judit

Date: 

2015

Abstract: 

The study is about democracy. It asks whether global economic governance (GEG) can take a democratic turn by testing whether the representation of women and women’s interests can be accomplished within the World Trade Organization (WTO). The test answers the question because the representation of women and women’s interests is a sine qua non of democracy in the 21st century, and because the WTO is the hardest case amongst institutions of GEG for the representation of women and women’s interests. This produces two corollaries: if the WTO cannot incorporate a sine qua non of democracy, then GEG cannot become democratic without significant institutional restructuring; if the representation of women and women’s interests can be accomplished in the ‘hardest case,’ it should be possible within GEG generally. So proceeding, the study builds a framework for democratic GEG called Inclusive Global Institutionalism (IGI), comprising the principles inclusion, caution, simplicity, legitimacy and flexibility. IGI, balancing juridification, hybridization and path-dependency, is preferred over three ideas of democratic global governance: a global democratic state, ‘multitude,’ and ‘a new world order of networks.’ The study validates its test by showing that the representation of women and women’s interests can stand proxy for democratization, while the WTO can stand proxy for GEG. The former is accomplished by critiquing Pitkin’s ‘substantive representation’ and ‘potentiality,’ advancing a more expansive concept of representation. The latter is accomplished by developing seven ‘Moments of Juridification’ showing that the WTO represents the post-WWII juridification of GEG, and nine ‘Reasons’ why the WTO is the ‘hardest case.’ The study determines that the representation of women and women’s interests is made possible by hybridizing soft and hard law in the Enhanced Integrated Framework and Aid-for-Trade, which require WTO interaction with other IOs, but are brought within the WTO’s Committee for Trade and Development in Aid-for-Trade session. This allows the conclusion that democratization of GEG is not impossible, and that representation of women and women’s interests is possible within the WTO without fundamental structural reform. The study finally concludes that to balance juridification, hybridization and path-dependency is necessary to any stable democracy or sustained democratization.

Subject: 

Political science

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Doctor of Philosophy: 
Ph.D.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Doctoral

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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