Netherlands Yearbook of International Law pages:139-198
Traditionally, international law has barely paid attention to the democratic legitimacy of its most important subjects States , having been concerned only with relations between states and not within them. The neutral position of international law vis-à-vis a states internal form of overnment changed after the collapse of communism. The question of whether the citizen could claim democratic
governance, made headway. The normative value of democracy has also deeply influenced the foreign policy of a large number of states: since the 1990s, respect for democracy has at times been considered a condition for recognizing
a new state and it is increasingly a prerequisite for membership of international organizations. A forcible imposition of democracy is however doubtful. Finally,
the article examines whether international law itself is made in a sufficiently democratic manner. The formation of international law through treaties or custom, for instance, is inherently suffering from a democracy deficit, even though some remedies seem possible. There are likewise problems of democratic deficits in the decision-making processes in international organizations. Powerful states
are able to use decision-making to their advantage by using all kinds of formal and informal mechanisms. The article explores, as a case-study, the situation in the World Trade Organization.
Onderzoekseenheid Internationaal en buitenlands recht. Instituut voor Internationaal Recht.