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  • Cited by 18
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: September 2009

1 - Power in global governance


The idea of global governance has attained near-celebrity status. In little more than a decade the concept has gone from the ranks of the unknown to one of the central orienting themes in the practice and study of international affairs of the post-Cold War period. The intensifying connections between states and peoples, better known as globalization, are now frequently presumed to create the need for governance and rule-making at the global level. According to such a view, only with global governance will states and peoples be able to cooperate on economic, environmental, security, and political issues, settle their disputes in a nonviolent manner, and advance their common interests and values. Absent an adequate supply of global governance, states are likely to retreat behind protective barriers and re-create the conditions for enduring conflict. Global governance, then, is thought to bring out the best in the international community and rescue it from its worst instincts. Although the study of global governance has a long pedigree, its prominence increased dramatically after the Cold War. A scholarly journal now bears its name. Several presses now have series on the subject. Although scholars have been less likely to invest global governance with the same heroic qualities as do policymakers, they have tended to see it as capable of helping states overcome conflict and achieve their common aspirations. For policymakers and scholars, global governance is one of the defining characteristics of the current international moment.

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