Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society

State-Society Relations at UN World Conferences

By Elisabeth Jay Friedman, Kathryn Hochstetler, and Ann Marie Clark

Subjects: International Relations, Comparative Politics
Series: SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791463345, 234 pages, January 2006
Hardcover : 9780791463338, 234 pages, January 2005

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Table of contents

List of Tables



1. Global State-Society Relations

2. Global Civil Society: Emergence and Impact

3. Global Civil Society and Latin America in the UN Conferences

4. Sovereignty in the Balance

5. Sovereignty Bargains and Challenges at the Conferences on Population and Development, Social Development, and Human Settlements

6. Global Civil Society: Transforming Sovereignty and Building Democracy?




SUNY Series in Global Politics

Examines the growing power of nongovernmental organizations by looking at UN World Conferences.


Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society explores the growing power of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by analyzing a microcosm of contemporary global state-society relations at UN World Conferences. The intense interactions between states and NGOs at conferences on the environment, human rights, women's issues, and other topics confirm the emergence of a new transnational democratic sphere of activity. Employing both regional and global case studies, the book charts noticeable growth in the ability of NGOs to build networks among themselves and effect change within UN processes. Using a multidimensional understanding of state sovereignty, the authors find that states use sovereignty to shelter not only material interests but also cultural identity in the face of external pressure. This book is unique in its analysis of NGO activities at the international level as well as the complexity of nation-states' responses to their new companions in global governance.

Elisabeth Jay Friedman is Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and the author of Unfinished Transitions: Women and the Gendered Development of Democracy in Venezuela, 1936–1996. Kathryn Hochstetler is Associate Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University. Ann Marie Clark is Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University and the author of Diplomacy of Conscience: Amnesty International and Changing Human Rights Norms.