Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2008

Publication Citation

15 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 305 (2008)


Democratic practice varies historically, and transformations of the societal context require accompanying reconstructions of democracy if "rule by the people" is to remain meaningful. Contemporary society is witnessing particularly profound changes in underlying structures of space, governance, and identity. Fundamental reconsideration of democracy is therefore also needed. This article first develops a generic understanding of democracy; next elaborates on currently unfolding transformations of geography, regime, and community; and then develops a five-faceted reconstruction of democracy to meet these changed circumstances. This prescription entails: (1) reconceptualizing democracy, shifting away from obsolete assumptions of territorialists pace, statist regulation, and nationalist identity; (2) refashioning civic education to empower all citizens to act in this new situation; (3) building effective institutional mechanisms of public accountability in respect of an emergent polycentric mode of governance; (4) effecting progressive structural redistributions of resources and power in order that all stakeholders in contemporary public policy issues have more equal opportunities of political participation and (5) nurturing positive practices of intercultural recognition, communication, and negotiation.

Democracy and the Transnational Private Sector, Symposium. Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington, April 12-13, 2007.