In comparison to the democratic nation state, the institutions of European and global governance clearly suffer from a democratic deficit. Many have argued that the increased participation of civil society in international governance may be a cure for this democratic deficit and this collection investigates whether this argument is supported by empirical evidence. Ten original essays use comparative research to analyze current patterns of civil society consultation in thirty-two intergovernmental organizations and regimes, including the European Union. In particular, chapters examine problems of access, transparency, responsiveness and inclusion. The study concludes that civil society consultation holds much promise for rectifying the democratic deficit but that most institutional arrangements in their current form fall short of realizing their democratizing potential.