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Diego Zannoni

Danita Catherine Burke


The Arctic Council is frequently called a unique forum but, as this article argues, clubs are common in international politics and in many respects the Arctic Council is a club. This article explores the questions: Why are the Arctic states acting like a club in Arctic politics, and how do internal hierarchies influence how clubs make decisions? As the article illustrates, clubs are the stage for club diplomacy and, in club diplomacy, hierarchies play an important role. Using the Arctic Council as an illustrative case study, this article argues that clubs have internal hierarchies that inform their decision-making processes and their responses to challenges to their status. When clubs try to deal with subjects that extend beyond the boundaries of the sovereignty of club members and the parameters of club membership, club members may suffer from a lack of status and legitimacy to unilaterally deal with the subject.

Global Democracy in Decline?

How Rising Authoritarianism Limits Democratic Control over International Institutions

Eugenia C. Heldt and Henning Schmidtke


Over the past decade, rising authoritarian regimes have begun to challenge the liberal international order. This challenge is particularly pronounced in the field of multilateral development finance, where China and its coalition partners from Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa have created two new multilateral development banks. This article argues that China and its partners have used the New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to increase their power and to restrict democratic control mechanisms. By comparing formal mechanisms of democratic control in both organizations to the World Bank, this article shows that civil society access, transparency, and accountability are lower at the AIIB and NDB than they are at the World Bank.