Democratic entitlement in "statu nascendi"? : a normative approach to the right to democracy in international law

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Beshkardana, Katayoon
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Democratic entitlement has been subject to an endless doctrinal debate in international law. Positivist approach is skeptical to recognize this right in international normative framework. It argues that democratic entitlement is nothing but a doctrinal aspiration emerged at the end of the ideological polarization in the World Politics. Quite contrary, the "democratic entitlement" school of thought pioneered by Thomas M. Franck and followed by other scholars throughout the 1990s; trace back the origins of a democratic entitlement to the adoption of the UN Charter and its provisions regarding self-determination of peoples. While this doctrinal struggle is still ongoing, the event of September 11/2001 had a large impact on democratic entitlement legal discourse. The increasing support of the unilateral interventionist doctrine within the US foreign policy appears to swing the pendulum of international law back to the side of positivist doctrine with emphasis on principles of nonintervention and states' equal sovereignty. The author attempts to specify the normative weight of a democratic entitlement by examining precisely those provisions of international human rights treaty law underpinning the notion of democracy. By this mean, the assessment of the process of norm development will become probable. Bearing in mind different phases of norm formation i.e. emergence, Cascade and internalization, the author concludes that democratic entitlement has already emerged in international law. Nevertheless, the process is ongoing regarding other phases of a norm development.
Second semester University: University of Vienna
democracy, elections, freedom, international law, self-determination