International law, democracy, Islamic separation of powers, ubuntu
The article starts from the premise that international law scholarship’s approach to the study of democracy is caught in a vicious circle because of the separation between the study of democracy within states on one side and democratic credentials of international institutions and international law more broadly on the other side. In order to overcome this vicious circle, the article proposes that international law scholarship needs to develop an integrated approach to democracy. Such an integrated approach to democracy shall start from a purposeful reflection on meanings and practices of democracy going beyond the traditional western European heritage. Using the example of practices of democracy emerging from Islamic tradition and reflection on meanings of democracy in an African tradition the article demonstrates how an integrated approach to democracy can work and establishes its importance for resolving international law’s continuing problems with democracy.