International parliamentary institutions: making a difference for democracy? : stocktaking under consideration of the double mandate

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Schwausch, Christiane
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The thesis proposes the inclusion of international parliamentary institutions into intergovernmental organisations, not only as a remedy for their own democratic deficit, but also as a countermeasure for the democratic deficit within the state. The framework is provided by the responses to globalisation, which have gradually shifted decision-making to the international level – especially to international organisations – whereas democratic safeguards have remained rooted in the nationstate. The situation triggers a twofold democratic deficit; inside and outside the state. On the basis of the examples of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the thesis examines to what extent, and through which factors those institutions have a democratising effect. Special attention is paid to their distinct feature – the double-mandate – as a possible tool for bridging the gap between the state-bound democracy safeguard and the international centre of decision-making. The thesis concludes that while quite positively addressing the democratic deficits on both levels, their limited participatory rights within the organisation and insufficient follow-up through the parliamentarians constitute shortcomings, which render the double-mandate ineffective. Yet, though their specific characteristics, international parliamentary institutions constitute the missing piece of pluralistic accountability mechanisms.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles
Council of Europe. Parliamentary Assembly, democracy, OSCE. Parliamentary Assembly, interngovernmental organisations