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The environmental and economic realities of Arctic climate change present novel problems for international law. Arctic warming and pollution raise important questions about responsibilities and accountabilities across borders, as they result from anthropogenic activities both within and outside the Arctic region, from the Global North and the Global South. Environmental interdependencies and economic development prospects connect in a nexus of risk and opportunity that raises difficult normative questions pertaining to Arctic governance and sovereignty. This article looks at how the Arctic has been produced in international legal spaces. It addresses the implication of states and Indigenous peoples in processes of Arctic governance. Looking at specific international legal instruments relevant to Arctic climate change and development, the author attempts to tease out the relationship between the concepts of Indigenous rights and state sovereignty that underlie these international legal realms. What do these international legal regimes tell us with respect to the role of Arctic Indigenous peoples and the role of states in governing the ‘global’ Arctic? It is argued that while international law has come a long way in recognizing the special status of Indigenous peoples in the international system, it still hesitates to recognize Indigenous groups as international law makers. Comparing the status of Indigenous peoples under specific international regimes to their role within the Arctic Council, it becomes evident that more participatory forms of global governance are entirely possible and long overdue.
In recent decades, IGOs, NGOs, private firms and even states have begun to regularly package and distribute information on the relative performance of states. From the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index to the Financial Action Task Force blacklist, global performance indicators (GPIs) are increasingly deployed to influence governance globally. We argue that GPIs derive influence from their ability to frame issues, extend the authority of the creator, and — most importantly — to invoke recurrent comparison that stimulates governments' concerns for their own and their country's reputation. Their public and ongoing ratings and rankings of states are particularly adept at capturing attention not only at elite policy levels but also among other domestic and transnational actors. GPIs thus raise new questions for research on politics and governance globally. What are the social and political effects of this form of information on discourse, policies and behavior? What types of actors can effectively wield GPIs and on what types of issues? In this symposium introduction, we define GPIs, describe their rise, and theorize and discuss these questions in light of the findings of the symposium contributions.
This concluding chapter ponders the non-conventional form of power that international standards reflect in the rising importance of services for contemporary capitalism. It discusses the three core arguments made in the book on the power of ambiguity, the ambiguity of standards and the rise of services, with distinct reference to the contrasted cases studied. It then draws broader implications of conceiving the power of service standards as a transnational hybrid authority defined by its constitutive ambiguity, rather than by sectorial or institutional specificities.
This chapter engages with theories of global governance and private regulation to explain how and why standards support what I call a transnational hybrid authority. It shows that the notion of hybrid is mostly used as a default attribute to accommodate multiple and contradictory policies of global governance. Supplementing international political economy literature with semiotics, science and technology studies, and post-colonial studies, I argue that the concept of hybrid allows for seeing such ambiguity as an ontological attribute transforming the relationship between transnational capitalism and territorial sovereignty. Ambiguity thus imbues not only the status of the actors involved in standardisation and regulation but also the scope of the issues on which they operate and the spaces on which they exert their authority. The chapter outlines the analytical framework of the book including the three dimensions of actors setting standards, the scope of the standards and space on which such authority is recognised.
This article addresses a significant gap in the literature on legitimacy in global governance, exploring whether, in what ways, and to what extent institutional qualities of international organisations (IOs) matter for popular legitimacy beliefs towards these bodies. The study assesses the causal significance of procedure and performance as sources of legitimacy, unpacks these dimensions into specific institutional qualities, and offers a comparative analysis across IOs in three issue areas of global governance. Theoretically, the article disaggregates institutional sources of legitimacy to consider democratic, technocratic, and fair qualities of procedure and performance. Empirically, it examines the effects of these institutional qualities through a population-based survey experiment in four countries in different world regions with respect to IOs in economic, security, and climate governance. The findings demonstrate that both procedure- and performance-related aspects of IO policymaking matter for popular legitimacy beliefs. This result holds across democratic, technocratic, and fair qualities of IO procedure and performance. Disaggregating the results by issue area indicates that a broader scope of institutional qualities are important for legitimacy beliefs in economic governance compared to security governance and, especially, climate governance. These findings suggest that propositions to reduce the institutional sources of IO legitimacy to single specific qualities would be misguided.
Since US President Donald J. Trump took office in January 2017, the future of the global economy has looked distinctly uncertain. This is not because a process of clear and purposeful change can be said to be underway. Instead, it is because of a pattern of piecemeal, inconsistent and contradictory fragments of policy, both domestic and international in orientation, in the arenas of trade, taxation, business relations, finance and banking, social and welfare provision, immigration, and environmental protection, whose cumulative significance remains unclear. The modest task of this essay is therefore to sketch the contours, patterns, inconsistencies and confusions presented by the Trump administration's approach to shaping the US economy and, by extension, the global economic order, and on that basis to offer an interpretation of its emerging implications for inequality both within the United States and across the world.
This article seeks to explain when governments are more likely to take an intergovernmental approach to resolving global collective problems rather than step back and encourage (or simply allow) nongovernmental actors to become the main global governors. The authors suggest that an important factor driving this choice is the domestic ideological leanings of powerful states toward greater or lesser government activism. Such ideologies connect domestic preferences to international ones. They also lead to the establishment of domestic institutions that, in turn, facilitate the emergence of international organizations. Using these arguments, the authors develop a set of inferences regarding the likelihood that governments will establish and join intergovernmental organizations. The authors test their hypotheses through a study of global governance in the education realm, and also apply a series of statistical analyses covering developments in all issue-areas over the last century and a half.
As a case study in the proliferation of global rankings, we examine the initiation, construction of, and response to the Access to Medicine Index, which ranks pharmaceutical companies according to their respective contribution to access to medicine for developing countries. Since it has served as the model for constructing global rankings in the fields of nutrition, seeds, mining, possibly in the future, oil, seafood, mobile internet, and agricultural commodities, and it serves as a blueprint for the development of corporate sustainability benchmarks in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, its significance goes well beyond public health. From an economic-sociological perspective we argue, first, that rankings can be conceived as symbolic classifications that serve predominantly as market-based coordination devices. To understand the proliferation of global rankings, we argue, secondly, that they are an integral part of the changing balance of power in the domain of global public health consisting of a historical shift from international organizations as the central mode of governance and coordination to a more decentralized and diversified global field structure. This global field is formed by an increasing number and variety of actors, but lacks a central decision-making body. The case of the Access to Medicine Index suggests that a historical-sociological field perspective has analytical advantages over both the micro-analysis of socio-technical devices and macro-level approaches to issues of governance in contemporary capitalism.
This essay explores the ethical and legal implications of prioritizing the militarization of cyberspace as part of a roundtable on “Competing Visions for Cyberspace.” Our essay uses an ideal type—a world that accepts warfighting as the prime directive for the construction and use of cyberspace—and examines the ethical and legal consequences that follow for (i) who will have authority to regulate cyberspace; (ii) what vehicles they will most likely use to do so; and (iii) what the rules of behavior for states and stakeholders will be. We envision a world where states would take on a greater role in governance but remain constrained by law, including jus ad bellum and jus in bello criteria, but also sovereignty, nonintervention, and self-determination. We ask if the net result would mean states causing less harm than they do in kinetic conflicts. Ultimately, our essay takes no position on whether cyberspace should be a militarized domain (let alone one where warfighting is the prime directive). Rather, our goal is to situate a warfighting cyber domain within the reality of a pluralist cyberspace, where ethical imperatives compete or coalesce to support specific governance mechanisms.
In this article, I examine the attempt to apply proportionality balancing (PB) to the co-ordination of the relations between governance regimes, which I call ‘inter-scalar PB’, from the perspective of competing institutional arrangements of global governance. Observing inter-scalar PB becoming a legal technique of management, I argue that it be reconceived as a narrative framework within which the fundamental values and principles of individual governance regimes can be politically contested without antagonism. I first discuss the role PB has played in the interaction between the law of state immunity and international investment law and then take a closer look at the features of inter-scalar PB as intimated in those instances: simplism, normativism, institutionalism and legalism. I suggest that the complex fundamental issues concerning the relationship between governance regimes are left out in the proportionality analysis-mediated resolution of regime-induced conflicts, disclosing the depoliticization tendency in inter-scalar PB. Juxtaposing it with the indicator project in international human rights advocacy, I conclude that both are jurispathic and reflect the rationalist propensity in the legal administration of global governance. PB, reconceived as a language in which values, conflicts, and interests of each governance regime can be argued and narrated as part of the politics of reconstructing global governance, will help to recast global governance in more jurisgenerative terms.
The ‘systems turn’ amongst deliberative democrats advocates incremental institutional reform guided by deliberative democratic ideals. Whilst ideal global democracy is beyond our reach, incremental reforms can improve the quality and inclusiveness of global deliberation. However, incremental reform in non-ideal circumstances involves trade-offs between competing normative goals. The paper highlights a neglected purpose of democratic deliberation: the integration of highly fragmented technocratic deliberation on isolated issues with more holistic social perspectives emerging from the public sphere. As global governance has shifted beyond the nation state, jurisdictions have become functionally fragmented encouraging issue-specific technical framings of problems (trade policy is institutionally separated from labour, the environment and development). Fragmentation across the domestic executive is mitigated by the legislature’s role in bringing isolated technical perspectives together and subjecting them to wider public scrutiny. No analogous institution exists internationally. Highlighting functional fragmentation is important because dominant concerns with cosmopolitanism (unsettling state-centric issue framing) and republicanism (the need for institutional variety to combat the potential domination of a world state) in global governance lead to an active enthusiasm for overlapping functional jurisdictions in much of the literature, obscuring important trade-offs with the need for social integration.
This article draws attention to an aspect that thus far has escaped systematic scrutiny in the theoretical literature on the political legitimacy of global governance – functions. It does so by exploring the idea that the content and justification of a principle of political legitimacy for global governance may depend on the function of the entity it is supposed to regulate (for example, law making, policy making, implementation, monitoring). Two arguments are made: one meta-theoretical and one substantive. The meta-theoretical argument demonstrates the fruitfulness of adopting a ‘function-sensitive approach’ to political legitimacy to address this aspect. The substantive argument develops the contours of an account of political legitimacy by applying this approach. This account consists of five regulative principles, which are sensitive to, and vary in accordance with, different functions in global politics.
In the early years of the twenty-first century the narrative of “emerging powers” and “rising powers” seemed to provide a clear and powerful picture of how international relations and global politics were changing. Yet dramatic changes in the global system have led many to conclude that the focus on the BRICS and the obsession with the idea of rising powers reflected a particular moment in time that has now passed. The story line is now about backlash at the core; and, with the exception of China, rising powers have returned to their role as secondary or supporting actors in the drama of global politics. Such a conclusion is profoundly mistaken for three sets of reasons: the continued reality of the post-Western global order; the need to understand nationalist backlash as a global phenomenon; and the imperative of locating and strengthening a new pluralist conception of global order.
In this essay I survey the key themes within China's discourse on international order, especially how China views its position and role in shaping the existing and future order. I go on to explore the possible implications of China's thinking and actions toward the existing international order. I conclude that overall, China sees no need for and hence does not seek fundamental transformation, but rather piecemeal modification of the existing order. In fact, China has been quite content with the existing order that supports globalization, despite occasional rhetoric indicating otherwise. In the near future, China will likely invest heavily in two key issue areas: (1) regionalism in East Asia and Central Asia; and (2) interregional cooperation and coordination. Perhaps unsurprisingly, China's ambitious “One Belt and One Road” initiative seeks to integrate these two issue areas.
While the West woke up to the threat to the liberal international order when Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, its decline was apparent even at the height of the Obama-Clinton era. What follows the end of the U.S.-dominated world order is not a return to multipolarity as many pundits assume. The twenty-first-century world—politically and culturally diverse but economically and institutionally interlinked—is vastly different from the multipolar world that existed prior to World War II. China and India are major powers now; and globalization will not end, but will take on a new form, driven more by the East than the West and more by South-South linkages than North-North ones. The system of global governance will fragment, with new actors and institutions chipping away at the old UN-based system. Liberal values and institutions will not disappear, but will have to coexist and enmesh with the ideas and institutions of others, especially those initiated by China. This “multiplex world” carries both risks and opportunities for managing international stability. Instead of bemoaning the passing of the old liberal order, the West should accept the new realities and search for new ways to ensure peace and stability in partnership with the rising powers.
One of the central assumptions underlying the stakeholder model is that strengthened opportunities for involvement of non-state actors in political procedures hold significant promise for making those procedures more democratically legitimate. However, recent studies show that more open international organisations (IOs) are not perceived as more legitimate by non-state actors. In this article we explore one potential reason to explain this apparent paradox, investigating whether, and under what conditions, strengthened opportunities of stakeholder involvement enable the effective representation of global constituencies. The article shows that globalisation and politicisation of IOs go hand in hand with greater political activity by non-state actors defending domestic, rather than global, interests. Globalisation and politicisation may thus contribute to the exponential growth of the community of non-state actors active at IOs, but they do not make such community more globalised in nature. The article also illustrates that granting greater access to stakeholders in international institutions can somehow mitigate the effects of this underlying structural factors, and that institutional openness disproportionally fosters political activity by civic, rather than business, global stakeholders. We advance these arguments relying on a novel dataset including over eight thousand organisations active at the UN climate conferences and the WTO Ministerial Conferences.
Authority is a key concept in politics and law, and it has found greater attention in the global context in recent years. Most accounts, however, employ a model of ‘solid’ authority borrowed from the domestic realm and focus primarily on commands issued by single institutions. This framing paper argues that such approaches tend to underestimate the extent of authority in global governance and misunderstand its nature, leading to skewed accounts of the emergence of authority and the challenges it poses. Building on an alternative conception – the deference model – the paper calls for including in analyses of global authority also liquid forms, characterized by a higher level of dynamism and typically driven by informality and institutional multiplicity. Such a broader account can help us to redirect empirical inquiries and reframe central questions about authority, relating in particular to the way in which it is produced, the mechanisms through which it might be made accountable and legitimate, and its relation to law.
In this article we investigate the institutional mechanisms required for ‘liquid’ forms of authority in transnational governance to achieve normative political legitimacy. We understand authority in sociological terms as the institutionalized inducement of addressees to defer to institutional rules, directives, or knowledge claims. We take authority to be ‘liquid’ when it is characterized by significant institutional dynamism, fostered by its informality, multiplicity, and related structural properties. The article’s central normative claim is that the mechanisms prescribed to legitimize transnational governance institutions – such as accountability or experimentalist mechanisms – should vary with the liquid characteristics of their authority structures. We argue for this claim in two steps. We first outline our theoretical conception of political legitimacy – as a normative standard prescribing legitimizing mechanisms that support authorities’ collectively valuable governance functions – and we explain in theoretical terms why legitimizing mechanisms should vary with differing authority structures. We then present an illustrative case study of the interaction between liquid authority and legitimizing mechanisms of public accountability and pragmatic experimentalism in the context of transnational business regulation. We conclude by considering broader implications of our argument for both the design of legitimate transnational governance institutions, and future research agendas on transnational authority and legitimacy.
Is there a ‘democratic deficit’ in global politics? If so, which changes in institutions and practices can mitigate it? Empirically oriented scholars who ask such questions often use as a yardstick the normative principle that people significantly affected by a decision should be able to take part in reaching that decision. This ‘all-affected principle’ is also endorsed by prominent political theorists. However, its most logically consistent interpretation seems so demanding that it casts doubt on the principle’s usefulness to guide the assessment of real-world situations, since it appears to require that virtually everyone in the world should have a say on any proposal or any proposal for proposals. The argument presented here intends to rescue the principle as a tool for empirical assessments of real-world situations by stressing its role in comparative judgments and especially by showing that its implications are not too expansive and/or indeterminate, once we take into account that certain types of prior decisions significantly restrict the agenda of other decisions in a systematic way. The theoretical guidance for empirical research offered in the first part of the article is then illustrated with an application to global child labor policies.
This article re-examines a contested chapter in the international and environmental history of the 1970s. Even though largely neglected by historical research and in the public memory, the Club of Rome – widely remembered for its 1972 report The limits to growth – was not only born within the OECD, but was also in its early period strongly influenced by debates within this think tank of the industrialized countries. Using previously overlooked sources, this article analyses this highly unlikely OECD–Club of Rome nexus. It not only offers a privileged view into the social history of international policy-making and the related personal entanglements and ideological transfers at a key moment of post-war history. It also demonstrates that the social, intellectual, and economic turmoil of the late 1960s prompted a rethinking of the economic growth paradigm, even within those technocratic institutions that had aspired to guide the post-war industrial growth regime. The article argues that these links are not only vital for our understanding of the relationship between acquisitive growth capitalism and environmentalism, but also enable a more profound understanding of the role of transnational networks in global history and the appreciation of the place of the 1970s in world history.