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E-Democracy, the Global Citizen, and Multilevel Constitutionalism

Author: Pernice, I.
Published in: Prins, C., Cuijpers, C., Lindseth, P.L., Rosina, M. (Eds.), Digital Democracy in a Globalized World (pp. 27-52). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Year: 2017
Type: Book contributions and chapters

There is a lot of academic writing on global constitutionalism and global citizenship as a new concept for understanding and establishing a legal relationship among people and states worldwide, built upon ideas of Immanuel Kant and drawing from the experience of international law. There is, on the other hand, a broad conversation on the impact of the internet on social relations and political processes at all levels, including the development of internet governance and attempts to reconsider public ordering, legislation and democracy in the digital age. The present chapter strives to combine the two discourses with a view to exploring the potential offered by new information technologies for the constitution of global democracy. Far from a global state, this process is understood – in terms of ‘multilevel constitutionalism’ – as establishing an institutional framework at the global level that is additional and complementary to states and supra- and international organizations. It is rooted in the will and interest of the citizens of the states and organizations around the globe to deploy democratically legitimate mechanisms to cope effectively with global challenges and achieve goals that so far have been beyond the reach of national and international politics. Drawing from the experience of internet governance and using elements of Majid Behruouzi’s ‘theory of direct-deliberative e-democracy’, seven aspects of a possible internet-based global constitutional framework are presented for further consideration as a step towards a constitution for self-rule by the global citizen.

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