Democratization, international knowledge institutions, and global governance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The central problem of democracy has long been theorized as how to place appropriate constraints on the responsible exercise of power. Today, this problem is most acute in global governance. This article examines the rapid rise in the creation of international knowledge institutions, arguing that these institutions reflect a growing effort by nations and publics to assert democratic constraints on the on the global exercise of power through their ability to structure processes of reasoning and deliberation in global society. Specifically, the article argues for the need to attend carefully to processes of knowledge-making in international institutions, including the roles of international institutions in setting standards for the exercise of reasoning, their contributions to the making of global kinds through their work in classifying and reclassifying the objects of international discourse, and through their roles in opening up and constraining participation in international deliberation. The article concludes that the construction and deployment of policy-relevant knowledge are a significant source of power in their own right in global governance that need to be subject to their own democratic critique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-357
Number of pages33
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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