Globalization has been seen as a factor in increasing democratization, but also as one of the main challenges to democracy. The term globalization has been used to indicate various and heterogeneous types of phenomena, all of them producing challenges for traditional, nation-state based models of democracy. Economic globalization as free trade, with devolution of power from the state to the market, challenges the welfare state model of tempered capitalism. Cultural globalization, with intensified communication over borders, challenges the idea of democracy as one based upon a pre-political community of destiny. The social dimension of globalization brings about a fragmentation of social groups and identities, as well as growing transnationalization of civil society organizations and protest campaigns. In the political system, the economic, cultural and political dimensions of globalization reverberate in the increasing complexity of the structure of international organizations and international regimes. The challenge to the power and competence of the nation-state posed by the various instances of globalization brings into sharp relief the democratic deficit of the growing number of international organizations. Normative theories of democracy must insist on the need to create new political institutions that take into account the greatly diminished power of nation-states and the changing definition of relevant political communities.

Globalizations and Democracy’, DonatellaDellaPorta Democratization, 12 (5) (2005): 668–685. © 2005 Taylor & Francis. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd,
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