The Wisdom of the Many in Global Governance: An Epistemic-Democratic Defence of Diversity and Inclusion

Paper by Stevenson, H. : “Over the past two decades, a growing body of literature has highlighted moral reasons for taking global democracy seriously. This literature justifies democracy on the grounds of its intrinsic value. But democracy also has instrumental value: the rule of the many is epistemically superior to the rule of one or the rule of the few. This paper draws on the tradition of epistemic democracy to develop an instrumentalist justification for democratizing global governance. The tradition of epistemic democracy is enjoying a renaissance within political theory and popular non-fiction, yet its relevance for international relations remains unexplored. I develop an epistemic-democratic framework for evaluating political institutions, which is constituted by three principles. The likelihood of making correct decisions within institutions of global governance will be greater when (1) human development and capacity for participation is maximised; (2) the internal cognitive diversity of global institutions is maximised; and (3) public opportunities for sharing objective and subjective knowledge are maximised. Applying this framework to global governance produces a better understanding of the nature and extent of the ‘democratic deficit’ of global governance, as well as the actions required to address this deficit….(More)”