Good Governance

Why Govern? The Strategic, Functional, and Normative Logics of Global Governance

Author(s): Conor Seyle, Amitav Acharya, Blake Berger, Goueun Lee, Kate Tennis
Date: September 28, 2014
Publication Type: Conference Report
Keywords:

Overview:

Global governance is one of the most critical subjects in international relations scholarship and policymaking today. With intensified globalization, and the proliferation of collective action problems the world is facing in diverse areas such as security, climate, and economic relations, the need for the creation and sustenance of legitimate global governance structures is increasingly acknowledged. Yet, while most policymakers think global governance is a good thing, many aspects of global governance are poorly understood and often contested. The spread of global governance structures and institutions remains remarkably uneven across different issue areas; contestations abound over the reform of existing global governance institutions and processes and the creation of new ones. The conference “Why Govern? The Strategic, Functional, and Normative Logics of Global Governance,” held at American University in Washington, D.C. October 3–5, 2013, explored why global governance remains a contested and uneven enterprise. The conference was organized by the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance and the network of the Transnational Challenges and Emerging Nations Dialogue at American University with support from the One Earth Future Foundation of Broomfield, Colorado. 

Key Findings:

  • Demand for global governance can be characterized as strategic (relating to demand for material power), functional (relating to demand for a solution to a specific problem), or normative (relating to normative values that call for global governance.
  • Demand is not consistent across issues or over time. Often, institutions created in response to one type of demand evolve as different pressures arise.
  • Global governance systems have been supported more by materially weak actors than by stronger actors.
  • More data on the subject of demand is needed.
  • The role of creative fragmentation in global governance has significant policy relavance.
  • The study of regionalism may be an important complement to the study of global governance.

The report is also available in Chinese.

View/Download report (Chinese language)


Related Publications

The Role of the Private Sector in Support of Reporting Under SDG 16

Written by Conor Seyle, Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Promoting Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies on March 1, 2018

In Sustainable Development Goal 16, UN member states committed themselves to tracking and releasing information about the closely related issues of peace, justice, inclusion, and good governance.  Collecting good data about these issues is difficult

Read more

Governance for Peace

Written by Conor Seyle on December 12, 2017

Governance systems that contribute to stable peace are characterized by having inclusive means of operating, participatory systems that bring the governed into the process of decision making, systems for accountability that ensure transparent and

Read more

Climate-Induced Migration and Instability: The Role of City Governments

Written by Ambika Chawla on June 5, 2017

Trends in urbanization and climate change are altering the nature of human settlements. As the number and impact of severe weather events increases, countries and cities are forced to cope.

Read more

Improving Election Prediction Internationally

Written by Ryan Kennedy, David Lazer, Stefan Wojcik on February 3, 2017

Assumptions underlying election result predictions have been encountering wide criticism.

Read more

The Power of Networks in Maritime Security: What the Fight Against Piracy Can Teach Us About Irregular Migration

Written by Conor Seyle, Jens Vestergaard Madsen on September 16, 2016

Addressing the developing crisis around irregular migration by sea will require international institutions to work quickly to address the humanitarian, practical, and legal challenges posed by irregular migration.  Applying lessons learned from the

Read more

Conditional Relationships Between Drought and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

Written by Curtis Bell, Patrick W. Keys on August 15, 2016

Few cross-national studies provide evidence of a relationship between environmental scarcity and conflict, although much of the literature claims that destabilizing effects of environmental crises can be mitigated by the right sociopolitical

Read more

The UN Intervention Brigade: Extinguishing Conflict or Adding Fuel to the Flames?

Written by Jay Benson on June 2, 2016

The authorization of the Intervention Brigade (IB) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sparked controversy in the international community over the value of such deployments for UN peace operations.

Read more

Coup d’État and Democracy

Written by Curtis Bell on February 19, 2016

This article explains coup activity in democracies by adapting insights from the literature on commitment problems and framing coup around the threats leaders and potential coup plotters pose to each other.

Read more

Pages