European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Les Cahiers de Recherche,
HEC Paris

No 1138: What Role for Civil Society Coalitions in Supranational Governance?

Alberto Alemanno ()

Abstract: Beyond Networks critically dissects and systematizes an insightful, well-researched and elegantly written account of the democratic potential carried out by coalitions of civil society actors. Once established a case for studying coalitions of civil society organization through the lens of Global Administrative Law, the book eventually unveils its underlying research question. This volume specifically attempts to explain how civil society networks – which are studied within the broader notion of Global Civil Society (GSC) – drive the development of principles of democratic value at the supranational level. It does so within the broader debate about new modes of global governance and in particular that of experimentalist governance. It proceeds to theorize an autonomous organization network model within GSC: the so-called 'interlocutory coalitions'. Those coalitions are typically made of diverse category of entities whose major – sometimes solely – common feature is the cross-border pursuit of a common cause. In order to build an original and valuable taxonomy of civil society networks, interlocutory coalitions must be contrasted to other forms of networks, including social networks, trans-governmental committees, think tanks, Parallel Summits and QUANGOs. After reconstructing their respective composition, membership, rules of governance and legal status, the book delves into interlocutory coalitions' decision-making. How do coalitions presenting high degree of variation when it comes to their mission, governance, funding and membership coalesce around one common cause? How do they come to existence and get along? How can such coalitions speak with one voice when representing and advocating their common position in front of the relevant international organizations? What kind of techniques and deliberative mechanisms are used to attain a common position and then convey it to the outside world? This book provides a rigorous, constructive and promising stepping stone to embark on such a challenging journey. Yet the case for a global participatory democracy remains to be made.

Keywords: Open government; Transparency; Participation; Civic empowerment; Coalitions; Legitimacy; Accountability; Civil society; European Union; Good governance

JEL-codes: K19; K33

10 pages, February 8, 2016

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