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Forty-five authors call for a global referendum on democratic world government


May 13, 2009, Shawville, Québec, Canada — An NGO called Vote World Government has released the names of 45 authors who have published books or articles on the issue of globalizing democracy and who have agreed to set aside their philosophical differences in order to encourage the holding of a global referendum on the general goal of democratic world government. (The list of authors is below.)

“If half of all human adults vote, and the referendum question is supported by 67% of all voters, such a global mandate will be accepted in many quarters as legally binding under international law, and it would be politically compelling no matter what its legal status,” says Canadian Jim Stark, president of VWG and author of Rescue Plan for Planet Earth: Democratic World Government through a Global Referendum.

“We are confident the human race is ready for this, even if many national governments may not be,” explains Ted Stalets, vice-president of VWG (in Nashville, TN, USA). “We resolve all of our disputes through law and democratic governance at the municipal, state (provincial) and national levels, and as Harry Truman said in 1945, there isn’t a reason in the world why we can’t do that internationally.” Stalets points to a 2004 GlobeScan poll done in 18 nations, where about 75% of those who expressed opinions indicated that they wanted a “directly-elected UN parliament.”

The plan is to pass a resolution ( through the UN calling on every nation to hold a national referendum in conjunction with its next national election, using a common ballot question: “Do you support the creation of a directly-elected, representative and democratic world government?” In the period of time before the UN General Assembly agrees to consider this draft resolution, support is being built by means of Internet voting at

The participating authors have co-signed a letter that is being sent to thousands of NGOs, asking them to encourage their directors, staff, served communities and supporters to vote online, to generate momentum. “We have to make the online referendum go viral,” says Stark, “and we can do that best with the help of the two million NGOs in the world, who know that the work they do for humanity at large is desperately needed and underfunded primarily because the human race has so far failed to govern itself globally.”

“Even a very successful global referendum will not result in the immediate creation of a democratic world government,” says Irish citizen Brian Coughlan, Liaison Officer for VWG, “but it certainly will compel the convening of a framing conference where all of the stakeholders (national governments, NGOs, corporations, unions, religions, scholars, etc.) will have to sort through the issues and compose a world constitution.”

“This global referendum initiative has world-changing potential, and deserves the benefit of the doubt,” says Swedish professor Torbjörn Tännsjö, the author of GlobalDemocracy: The Case for a World Government.

“Human flight was just an impossible dream until we invented the airplane,” says VWG’s VP Ted Stalets. “Democratic world government is possible in the near future now that we can conduct a global referendum ... and if people have the good sense to vote yes.”

The 45 participants in the Authors’ Campaign for Democratic World Government as of May 13, 2009 (in alphabetical order by surname)

Daniele Archibugi - The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy

Mary-Wynne Ashford - Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror and War

John Avery - “Against the Institution of War” (article)

Joseph Preston Baratta - The Politics of World Federation, Vol. 1, United Nations, U.N. Reform, Atomic Control; Vol. 2, From World Federalism to Global Governance

Benjamin Barber - Fear’s Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence

Frank Barnaby (ed.) - The Gaia Peace Atlas

Byron Belitsos (with Jerry Tetalman) - One World Democracy: A Progressive Vision for Enforceable Global Law

James Bohman - Democracy Across Borders

Gillian Brock - Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account

Robin Cohen (with Steven Vertovec) (ed.s) - Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context, and Practice

Jack Donnelly - Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice

Nigel Dower - An Introduction to Global Citizenship

Giulio M. Gallarotti - The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics

Chahine Ghais - “Globalism and Localism: Changing our Political Understanding of Sovereignty and Democracy” (article)

Jamshid Gharajedaghi (with Russell L. Ackoff) - “Designing a Replacement for the UN” (article)

Ronald J. Glossop - Confronting War: An Examination of Humanity’s Most Pressing Problem

U.S. Senator (1969-1981) Mike Gravel - Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change

Thomas N. Hale (co-author) - “A covenant to make global governance work” (article)

Christopher Hamer - A Global Parliament: Principles of World Federation

David Held - Global Covenant: The Social Democratic Alternative to the Washington Consensus

Fernando Iglesias - Globalizar la Democracia: Por un Parlamento Mundial (Globalizing Democracy: Appeal for a World Parliament)

Sohail Inayatullah - Understanding Sarkar: The Indian Episteme, Macrohistory and Transformative Knowledge

Margaret C. Jacob - Strangers Nowhere in the World: The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern Europe

Didier Jacobs - Global Democracy: The Struggle for Political and Civil Rights in the 21st Century

Demetrius Klitou - “The Friends and Foes of Human Rights” (article)

William Knoke - Bold New World: The Essential Road Map to the Twenty-First Century

Finn Laursen - “Federalist Theory and World Order” (article)

Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (with James Bohman) (ed.s) - Perpetual Peace: Essays on Kant’s Cosmopolitan Ideal

Dada Maheshvarananda - After Capitalism: Prout’s Vision for a New World

Glen T. Martin - Ascent to Freedom: Practical and Philosophical Foundations of Democratic World Law

Saul Mendlovitz (ed.) - On the Creation of a Just World Order: Preferred Worlds for the 1990s

George Monbiot - The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order

Tim Murithi - “Rethinking the United Nations System: Prospects for a World Federation of Nations” (article)

Darren O’Byrne - The Dimensions of Global Citizenship: Political Identity Beyond the Nation-State

Heikki Patomäki (with Teivo Teivainen) - A Possible World: Democratic Transformation of Global Institutions

Craig E. Runde - (Chapter 7 in Transcending Boundaries, entitled) “Beyond Nationalism”

Jim Stark - Rescue Plan for Planet Earth: Democratic World Government through a Global Referendum

John Stewart - Evolution’s Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity

Torbjörn Tännsjö - Global Democracy: The Case for a World Government

Peter J. Taylor - World City Network: a Global Urban Analysis

Teivo Teivainen (with Heikki Patomäki) - A Possible World: Dmocratic Transformation of Global Institutions

Jerry Tetalman (with Byron Belitsos) - One World Democracy: A Progressive Vision for Enforceable Global Law

Frank Vibert - “The new cosmopolitanism” (article)

Thomas G. Weiss - What’s Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It

James A. Yunker - Political Globalization: A New Vision of Federal World Government

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 global referendum
 democratic government
 globalizing democracy
 world government
 UN Resolution

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