Global governance

Global governance

Global governance is the political interaction of transnational actors aimed at solving problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power of enforcing compliance.

Traditionally, governance has been associated with "governing," or with political authority, institutions, and, ultimately, control. Governance in this particular sense denotes formal political institutions that aim to coordinate and control interdependent social relations and that have the ability to enforce decisions. However, authors like James Rosenau [James Rosenau, "Toward an Ontology for Global Governance," in Martin Hewson and Timothy J. Sinclair, eds., "Approaches to Global Governance Theory" (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 1999).] have also used "governance" to denote the regulation of interdependent relations in the absence of overarching political authority, such as in the international system. Some now speak of the development of 'global public policy'. [Diane Stone, • ‘Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities and their Networks,’ "Journal of Policy Sciences", 2008 ]

Adil Najam, a scholar of the subject at Boston University and now at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has defined global governance simply as "the management of global processes in the absence of global government." [Saba Riazati, "A Closer Look: Professor seeks stronger U.N.," "The Daily Bruin", October 18, 2006] Thomas G. Weiss, director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center (CUNY) and editor (2000-5) of the journal "Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations", defines "global governance" as "collective efforts to identify, understand, or address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual states to solve." [ [ The UN and Global Governance ] ]

"Global governance" is not a normative term denoting good or bad practice. It is a descriptive term, referring to concrete cooperative problem-solving arrangements. They may be formal, taking the shape of laws or formally constituted institutions to manage collective affairs by a variety of actors (such as state authorities, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector entities, other civil society actors, and individuals). But these may also be informal (as in the case of practices or guidelines) or temporary units (as in the case of coalitions). [Margaret P. Karns and Karen A. Mingst. "International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance" (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004).]

Thus, global governance may be defined as "the complex of formal and informal institutions, mechanisms, relationships, and processes between and among states, markets, citizens and organizations, both inter- and non-governmental, through which collective interests on the global plane are articulated, rights and obligations are established, and differences are mediated.” [Thomas G. Weiss and Ramesh Thakur, "The UN and Global Governance: An Idea and its Prospects", Indiana University Press, forthcoming.]

World government

Global governance is not world government, and even less democratic globalization. In fact, global governance would not be necessary, were there a world government. Domestic governments have monopolies on the use of force - the power of enforcement. Global governance refers to the political interaction that is required to solve problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power of enforcing compliance. Problems arise; networks of actors are constructed to deal with them in the absence of an international analogue to a domestic government. This system has been termed disaggregated sovereignty.

Consensus example

Improved global problem-solving need not involve the creation of more powerful formal global institutions. It does involve creating consensus on norms and practices. One such area that is currently under construction is the creation and improvement of accountability mechanisms. For example, the UN Global Compact brings together companies, UN agencies, labor organizations and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. Participation is entirely voluntary, and there is no enforcement of the principles by an outside regulatory body. Companies adhere to these practices both because they make economic sense, and because stakeholders (especially shareholders) can monitor their compliance easily. Mechanisms such as the Global Compact can improve the ability of impacted individuals and populations to hold companies accountable.

An international environmental governance?

One wonders, indeed, how collective action on the environment is possible. A number of multilateral environmental agreements have emerged over the past thirty years, but their implementation remains difficult. It also questioned the creation of an international organization that would centralize these issues and work for the protection of the environment, e.g. World Environment Organisation (WEO). The United Nations Environment Programme could play this role, but it is a small structure with a limited operational mandate. There are two opposing camps on these issues: The European Union and particularly France and Germany, and some NGOs, are in favour of a WEO, the United Kingdom, the USA and most developing countries prefer to focus on volunteer initiatives. [" International Environmental Governance: The next steps ", L. Tubiana, B. Martimort-Asso, Synthèse, n° 2, 2005, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. [] ]

See also

*Social Network Analysis and Dynamic Network Analysis are methodologies that can be used to map and theorize about global governance.
*Centre for International Governance Innovation
*Global crisis
*Gold Mercury International
*United Nations Global Compact
*United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
*World Domination
*Global Governance Watch


External links

* [ "Rethinking Global Governance"] , Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin , 2 January 2008
* [ "Global Governance: The Battle Over Planetary Power"] , analyses from the Institute of research and debate on Governance;
* Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin & Geneva. Independent non-profit think tank that covers a variety of global governance issues from a Global Public Policy perspective. [ GPPi]
* One World Trust, London. Independent action oriented research organisation working to make global governance more democratic. Key areas: Accountability of Global organisations, Structures and Processes of Political Governance. Special interest in Peace and Security and Sustainable development. Publishes the annual Global Accountability Report []
* "The UN and Global Governance: An Idea and its Prospects", by Ramesh Thakur and Thomas G. Weiss, forthcoming publication in the United Nations Intellectual History Project []
* [ The Centre for the Study of Global Governance] at the London School of Economics
* A paper on [ Global Politics and Institutions] from the Tellus Institute
* [ The Global Governance Portal] of the University of Delaware's Department of Political Science & International Relations.

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