In a recent article for this journal, Robert Keohane argues against the possibility and promise of global democracy.1 Drawing upon Krasner’s notion of “organized hypo crisy,” Keohane suggests that democracy in global governance is merely a norm without substantive practice. Efforts to develop global democracy without creating the necessary preconditions will lead to a hollow nominal global democracy.

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Keohane is not actually hostile to the normative value of democracy in global governance. Indeed, his dismissal of global democracy in the short term is accompanied in his exposition by hope for the long term. However, this short term/long term distinction obscures the way arguments for global democracy are now in fact made (it is noteworthy that Keohane does not cite any actual contemporary proponent of global democracy, criticizing...

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