Global Democracy

Let us have as much representative democracy as necessary, and as much participatory democracy as possible.
~ Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S.A. Here is a contradiction. On the one hand, the United States have long been an inspiration to democracy movements around the globe, from revolutions across the Americas to the Chinese democracy movement of 1989. On the other hand, most of the "democracy" U.S. foreign policy has attempted to export has had little in common with the democratic ideals America is supposed to support.

Analyses of Participatory Democracy Elsewhere

October 1, 2009

Learning Citizenship and Democracy Through Participatory Budgeting: The Case of Rosario, Argentina, by Josh Lerner and Daniel Schugurensky. Analysis of the pedagogical dimension and educational effects of participatory budgeting.

Active Democracy: Citizen Participation in Decision Making
Description: Run by Lyn Carson at University of Sydney, this is an interesting collection of mostly Australian case studies and links.

United Kingdom
WE Power

Local Democracy Associations and Organizations

September 30, 2009


America Speaks

Description: A nonprofit organization that develops tools and provides consulting on achieving greater citizen input into public decision making.


  Chicago Area Participatory Economics Society
Description: The Chicago organization dedicated to public education on democratic economic models.  Based on "parecon" or participatory economics. 



July 29, 2009
A Stateside Dispatch Report

As we have written in the past, states have increasingly taken action to stop global trade deals from undermining state authority and state regulations that protect consumers, workers and the environment.

In recent weeks, the debate has heated up over the need to institutionalize the voice of states and protect state authority within trade negotiations. Just last week the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) passed a resolution asking the White House to commit its trade office to avoiding preemption of state authority. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade also recently held a hearing on the issue of strengthening state voices within the trade negotiation process.

LETNAR CERNIC: Corporate abuses require stronger international, national legal regimes

May 14, 2009
Jernej Letnar Černič

The US government published in February 2009 its decision that it will not renew its contract with the private security corporation formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide. Such a decision comes as no surprise given the allegations of killing 17 civilians by Blackwater guards, coupled with the Iraqi government's refusal to extend Blackwater's operating license. This case, however, opens again a number of conundrums relating to legal accountability for corporations and its employees for human rights violations. In short, how do we provide effective legal remedies to victims for human rights violations by or involving corporations? This comment therefore briefly explores the weaknesses of the current framework for corporate accountability for human rights.

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Jernej Letnar Černič, JURIST HOTLINE
Researcher, Institute for European, Constitutional,
International Law and Law of Economics

GLOBAL GREENS: Sustainable Cities Declaration

May 4, 2008

We, the representatives of green parties from more than 80 countries at the Global Greens Congress 2008 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, agree the following declaration for the development of sustainable cities.

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For the original, see

Participatory Budgeting: From Porto Alegre, Brazil to the U.S.

September 1, 2006
Mike Menser and Juscha Robinson

Throughout the U.S. left, but in particular among those groups participating at the first U.S. Social Forum and the global justice movement more generally, “participatory democracy” is a phrase one encounters in all kinds of different movements and organizations, from anti-war meetings and environmental justice organizations, to direct action affinity groups, to community-sponsored agriculture outfits, international solidarity organizations and prison abolitionists. It is certainly a central feature of the solidarity economy.

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