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Global Experimentalist Governance

  • Gráinne De Búrca, Robert O. Keohane and Charles Sabel

This article outlines the concept of Global Experimentalist Governance (GXG). GXG is an institutionalized transnational process of participatory and multilevel problem solving, in which particular problems (and the means of addressing them) are framed in an open-ended way, and subjected to periodic revision by various forms of peer review in light of locally generated knowledge. GXG differs from other forms of international organization and transnational governance, and is emerging in various issue areas. The Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances is used to illustrate how GXG functions. The conditions for the emergence of GXG are specified, as well as some of its possible benefits.

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Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, New York University Law School (email:; Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University (email:; Maurice T. Moore Professor of Law and Social Science, Columbia Law School (email: We are grateful to the participants in a conference on Experimentalist Governance at Brown University in November 2013 for their interest in these ideas and their reaction to our presentation on these themes, and to Professor Richard Locke, Director of the Watson Institute at Brown University, for hosting that meeting.

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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