Representation Beyond the State: Towards Transnational Democratic Non-state Politics

Teivo Teivainen, Silke Trommer

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Abstract

The crises of representative democracy and of state-based politics have been declared many times and ‘participation’ is often advocated as a remedy for the shortcomings of both. While the literature has extensively discussed representative practices in relation to territorial states, we argue in this article that more attention should be paid to the question of representation within transnational social movements striving for a politics that transcends current territorially bounded representative democracy. Analysing the World Social Forum and West African participatory trade policy-making, we find that as transnational social movements aiming at democratic goals deepen their interactions, they can face demanding questions such as: who or what has a right to be made present in a given political process and how is this established? We claim that avoiding the question of representation in transnational non-state-centred politics leaves power too many places to hide.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobalizations
Early online date23 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Representation
  • Social Movements
  • Non-state Actors
  • Democracy
  • Alter-globalization

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