The idea of a world parliament has already been suggested in the 1920s by the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations (UN). Since the creation of the UN this idea has lived on under the name of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). During the past several years, support for a UNPA appears to have grown notably, due to a strong campaign and possibly the increased awareness of the undemocratic nature of the UN and, probably even more, world governance in general.
Global problems cannot be solved by local governments. Therefore, democratisation is needed on a global scale, now more than ever. Policies important for the world citizens concern, for instance, human rights and climate change. These policies are now decided by multinational corporations (both through lobbying and more direct). This is no plea against global governance bodies. However, we must make certain that any supranational body deciding on global issues is democratic.
One approach to democratise globalisation is through a world parliament. Ideally, in such a system the parliament would represent the citizens and the representatives can be held accountable for their actions. However, a general critique to this theory is that no parliamentary democracy is truly democratic. In a parliamentary democracy people must generally turn over their vote to a party, loosing their control over what happens in politics and hence society. Other criticism includes that we want every world citizen to participate, but that would be difficult with undemocratic countries.
Whether the solution to the problem of an undemocratic world should be mediated by a world parliament, e.g. under the umbrella of the UN, is the discussion at hand. I will argue that we do need something like a UNPA, though it needs to be set up differently than our average parliament. By voting once every four years we effectively loose our vote. At any time we, the citizens of the world, must be able to withdraw our mandate and give it to someone else, or decide ourselves on the matter at hand. Here direct and liquid democracy, and sociocracy may be tools that can help us shape such a system. Whatever method we decide to use, we must make the people govern the world.