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Globalization and Democracy-Enhancing Multilateralism: A Structuralist Interpretation

Working Paper #F60

Alicia Barcena, Gabriel Porcile

Paper  520kb pdf

International cooperation, especially on a multilateral basis, has lost ground in recent years. This process has been accompanied by the devaluation of core democratic values in many developing and developed countries. The specific form adopted by globalization since the late eighties and early nineties (Rodrik's "hyper-globalization") is central for understanding why this has occurred. Keohane et al (2009) define a set of conditions required for a "democracy-enhancing multilateralism," which would allow multilateralism and constitutional democracy to go hand in hand. Drawing from the Structuralist tradition in the theory of economic development and trade, we argue that these conditions are necessary but not sufficient. A viable form of multilateralism requires an additional condition, namely the provision of global public goods to curb the negative economic and political externalities that inevitably emerge in an international system marked by strong asymmetries in specialization and technological capabilities.

About the Authors

Alicia Barcena
Executive Secretary
CEPAL

Alicia Bárcena assumed office as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on 1 July 2008. She had previously served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Deputy Chef de Cabinet and then as Acting Chef de Cabinet to the former Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan.
Alicia Bárcena held the post of Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, where she had previously served as the Director of that institution's Environment and Human Settlements Division.
Prior to her time at ECLAC, Ms. Bárcena served as Co-ordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and as Co-ordinator of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), where she was responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project. Alicia Bárcena was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of follow-up to the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Ms. Bárcena's extensive experience in international organizations also includes various consultancies with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Her work in the environmental field has included her service as President of Cultura Ecológica, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization in Mexico, and as Co-ordinator of the South-East Regional Centre of the National Institute for Research on Biotic Resources in the State of

Yucatan. Ms. Bárcena has taught and conducted research in the fields of botany, ethnobotany and ecology, as well as designing programmes of study in the areas of ecology and botany for the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico. She has published numerous articles on sustainable development, public policy, environmental issues, and global citizenship and public participation. Alicia Bárcena holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, has completed the course of study required for the degree of Master in Ecology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and holds a Master degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Gabriel Porcile

Publication Information

Type Working Paper
Program -
Posted 06/18/19
Download 520kb pdf
# Pages 33