Non State actors and Governance
Good Governance

The Rise of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Opportunities and Limitations

Author(s): Kelsey Coolidge, Conor Seyle, Thomas G. Weiss
Date: August 17, 2013
Publication Type: Discussion Paper
Research Topics: Good Governance

Overview:

The success of non-state actors does not mean that intergovernmental organizations have no role — quite the contrary. The diversity of actors has created opportunities for new partnerships to form and older ones to be strengthened, but states and their intergovernmental organizations remain an essential component of future global governance. Their strengths and unique capabilities should not be short-changed in our enthusiasm for non-state actors.

How has global governance changed as the scope and the number of actors has rapidly evolved in recent history? The Rise of Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Opportunities and Limitations compiles data since the 1950’s on the growth trends of non- state actors and provides a framework to understand why the numbers are important.

Key Findings:

  • There has been a dramatic increase in private- and public-sector international organizations participating in global governance.
  • Non-governmental organizations and transnational corporations, rather than international governmental organizations, have accounted for most of the increase.
  • Transnational corporations have increased both in number and also in participation in global governance.
  • Institutions including non-state actors often have a looser organizational structure that allows for more efficient collaboration than states can often attain.
  • The addition of non-state actors to the mix has expanded the reach and capacity of global governance over the past 100 years.

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