In This Review

Reimagining Political Community: Studies in Cosmopolitan Democracy
Reimagining Political Community: Studies in Cosmopolitan Democracy
By Daniele Archibugi, David Held and Martin Kohler
Stanford University Press, 1998, 354 pp

The authors of this impressive volume argue that globalization is making it harder for democracies to operate effectively as nation-states. Instead, countries must find new ways to expand political participation and accountability across borders; democratic order can no longer function alone in one closed nation-state. The authors call this alternative "cosmopolitan democracy," a vision of political community built around multiple institutions at all levels of international politics. The European Union is a good example: it has added layers of democratic governance to the nation-state, fostered transnational cooperation, and parceled out accountability to clearly defined spheres. The book also discusses the rise of the "global democracy deficit" and notions of citizenship and sovereignty in Europe. If the challenges of the environment, global security, and economic regulation in the 21st century require new international institutions, this book succeeds in showing that considerations of democracy and accountability cannot stop at the water's edge.