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2119 – The Year Global Democracy Will Be Realized By Leif Lewin

Chapter :  Preface
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2119 – The Year Global Democracy Will Be Realized


The conception of the idea for this book happened when I, as chair of the committee for the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, listened to the prize lecture by the laureate of 2005, Robert Keohane. With all his usual might and clarity, Keohane suggested that in order to work effectively at improving accountability in world politics, domestic analogy needed to be abandoned: the belief being that accountability had to be democratic, entailing popular elections. At the time I was just finalizing my book Democratic Accountability (Harvard University Press 2007), and I was highly provoked by this view and decided to look into it more closely, following the basic principle for academic polemics that one should always question the top authorities.

The result is this present book. My conclusion is that a democratic world order is ultimately feasible, provided that a long-term perspective is employed. I have not set out any blueprint for how such an order might look exactly; as is evident from my book, the political science literature is brimming over with such suggestions, some more fanciful than others, and yet another proposal would not seem particularly meaningful. Instead I have discussed the fundaments for democratic rule and how they should be looked upon when considering democracy at the global level.

A number of institutions and persons have made this project possible. I am grateful for generous grants from The Swedish Research Council and The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund as well as to the Department of Government at Uppsala University, which still offers me as