Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


What happens to democracy when the system of an international intergovernmental organization (IGO) is superimposed onto the legal orders of its member states - democratic or otherwise, unitary or federal? In the complete article on which this excerpt is based ("International Integration and Democracy: No Love at First Sight," American Journal of International Law, pp. 489-534, July 2001), Hessel E. Yntema Professor Emeritus Eric Stein, '42, explores this question as applied to four IGOs: the World Health Organization (WHO), Word Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the European Union (EU). He focused on the level of integration of each of the four IGOs, and the nature and intensity of the debate on the "democratic deficit" surrounding it. What follows is a modified excerpt of his conclusions, which appears here with permission of the American Journal of International Law.