Andreas Eriksen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo Metropolitan University.
Networks of experts facilitated by international bodies have become so widespread and influential that many see them as shaping a new world order. In a growing range of areas, the form of political rule is not one of clear hierarchy and express demands within a clearly defined jurisdiction. Areas such as standards for consumer safety, investor protection, or environmental sustainability are developed and implemented through more horizontal communities of professionals in various public-private constellations. What kinds of democratic standards should we use to assess this state of affairs? This paper presents different approaches and emphasizes a perspective which holds that democracy does not have to resemble the domestic model in organizational terms and that it can fruitfully be reconceived in the international context of expert networks.