Economists define globalization as the expansion and organization of transactions related to economy across political boundaries of countries. However, globalization is a phenomenon that is multidimensional whose consequences and implications extend beyond the economy to social and polity. The aspect of globalization witnesses political spread among the nations in the developing and changing world as economies continue to transition. Such democratic politics involve the electoral democracy in some way even if people do not end up having the political rights and freedoms that democratic countries should guarantee to their citizens.1 Nevertheless, globalization is a representation of a vast change witnessed from authoritarian regimes to a much democratic leadership that was the case some three decades ago. As globalization continues to spread, so is the geographical spread of the aspect of democracy among nations as is seen to strike Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Elections may not be fair and free as normally stipulated in a democratic view but somehow are considered to stir accountability among leaders who are part of fair representation in any country. It is also not as if the said authoritarian regimes can vanish completely, others still exist.2 However, in a great number of nations seeking to attain democracy, the dictatorial regimes become subject to an international concern, as democratic aspirations continue rising everywhere. The paper seeks to determine whether globalization among international organizations enhances democracy or not.
Different authors have a varied understanding of the issue of globalization and its impact on democracy as some seem to view that there is some aspect of democratic improvement that comes with the aspect while others are on the contrary. According to Robert Dahl, democratic globalization would be achieved if some entities such as the powerful states like the US and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) remain accountable.3 The reason is that they have some aspect of being vocal and can significantly influence how democracy is shaped. Again he concludes that democracy would be attained much easily when the global society became more universal. Nations that have are part of an international society have a common set of values that work to achieve the aspect among them. 4
Increased participation among nations should enhance democratic legitimacy while strengthening external accountability among global organizations. However, international institutions, individual transnational actors, and partnerships face the challenge of unbalanced participation towards the attainment of democracy.5 In addition to this fact, the international accountability is compromised by the challenge of not able to identify who the stakeholders should be. The process is characterized by the difficult trade-offs that are evident among the various democratic values and nations including inclusiveness and accountability, representation, internal accountability and direct participation, deliberation, participation, and transparency. Multilateral institutions influence empowering diffuse minorities across nations against the factions that are of special interest. They can ensure that the most vulnerable minorities and individuals are protected. Besides, they can ensure that democratic decision making that is of epistemic quality is established well in democratic nations, move governance to levels that elaborate mechanisms for criticism and public debate and making sure that bodies concerned with impartial and expert decision making improve democracy.6
On the contrary, other popular commentators and scholars argue that global organizations undermine the aspect of democracy. They perceive that global governance is elitist, distant and technocratic. This means that globalization can only enhance economics and business since to some extent; politics are national and not international.7 As much as organizations become global, it is so hard to change or influence the political operations of a country unless the nation forms part of a global society. This aspect means that what a nation can reap from globalization is business development and not democracy as many hold the belief.
Looking well at the aspect of international organizations, democracy, accountability, and representation are supposed to get enhanced and extended to the nations where they are not. The achievement can be made when international bodies such as NGOs and such countries with so much power are out to encourage the same in less powerful countries. It has been evident that elections which are meant to ensure that the citizens of a nation get fair representation through the leaders they elect, some nations are far from being democratic. Their states remain dictatorial. In this case, international bodies that include the WTO (world trade organizations) NGOs, and UN (United Nations) and AU (African Union) should work towards achieving a global democracy ensuring that the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes are done away with. This aspect can be easily achieved when there is international unity and that these various entities become vocal enough and speak with one voice. However, the fight requires some high levels of transparency, individual accountability, inclusivity, deliberation and participation and not the work of a single entity. The most powerful and influential nations such as the US should also be supporting the issue of democracy on the international level.
The paper looks at whether international organizations should enhance democracy, accountability, and representation among nations. Democracy is attained when the global society becomes more universal. Increased participation among nations should enhance democratic legitimacy while strengthening external accountability. International bodies that include the WTO (world trade organizations) NGOs, and UN (United Nations) and AU (African Union) should work towards achieving a global democracy ensuring that the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes are done away with. The most powerful and influential nations such as the US should also be supporting the issue of democracy on the international level.