Proposal Papers are half way between a scholarly article and a book, about 30 to 50 pages in all. The suggestions given here should not be seen as a standardized layout for the Papers; they simply offer a basis for what should be included and what is, in our opinion, essential if the Papers are to be pertinent and accessible to readers. Our intention is that the Papers will circulate widely as the basis for discussions in as many places as possible and later serve as blueprints for action.
Each Paper should describe the proposals in a summary of one or two pages. To give the reader a clear idea of the Paper’s contents, each of the proposals should be given a title, followed by a few lines describing its content.
Ideally, this summary will act as a “list of proposals” (a fixed number of proposals, selected for their importance and their capacity to highlight ruptures in order to stimulate debate) and as a general introduction to the issues covered by the overall theme.
More importantly, such a presentation can be used and published as a separate document in other media (newspapers, web sites) through translations into a wider range of languages. This implies that the List will clearly identify the decisive and innovative suggestions contained in the Proposal Paper.
To avoid the proposals being too general or abstract, the List of Proposals should be accompanied by a description of the ways in which they relate to current social issues and realities and how they open up new perspectives. In particular, three specific aspects should be taken into account:
The proposals will be integrated into a vision for the future. Such a vision, even if it is described only briefly, will place the proposals in a context. However, it should by no means be reduced to a simple statement of universal values, as this will make the proposals appear too open and abstract. Not only should it highlight ‘wished-for perspectives’, but also perspectives that are feasible and ‘realistic’, once the proposals are implemented. For this reason, each Proposal Paper must include a strategy for introducing the changes described.
To ensure that Proposal Papers do not become disconnected from concrete social realities and to avoid their appearing as merely pious wishes, it is essential that individuals who will or are likely to implement the proposals be identified. We cannot sit back and expect that governments or legislatures will take responsibility for introducing change. Thus, for each proposal, authors should ask themselves what implications it might have for young people, political or institutional leaders, scientists, business leaders, farmers, etc.
3. Common Content: Principles for Governance
Proposal Papers are expected to meet two specific objectives: to have intrinsic value as proposals, and to contribute to the construction of a holistic proposal for new world governance. For this reason, a common approach must be developed gradually, one that seeks out general underlying principles for new world governance. Such an approach will thus be enhanced by each new Proposal Paper and by the debates that it generates. It will be sent to each author in the form of a ‘relational atlas’, an ensemble of linked concepts and themes. This atlas is not expected to create a final and rigid framework, but to constitute a basic structure which evolves with each new Paper.
The goal is to provide a structured and innovative vision through the use of conceptual maps. Mapping will also contribute to rendering the complexity of world governance more comprehensible.
Proposal Papers will be published simultaneously in several languages (English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, etc.), as widely as financial resources and publishing partnerships on each continent permit. The idea is to work gradually, but quickly, towards the production of a substantial number of Proposal Papers, so that a global and multifaceted vision of new world governance can emerge.
They will be published as a coherent ensemble within a common structure made up of five broad categories of world governance:
Ecological governance and managing the planet
Economic and globalisation governance
Governance of politics, state structures and institutions
Governance of peace, security and armed conflicts
Governance of knowledge, science, education, and the information and communication society
In addition to these thematic categories, Proposal Papers will emerge from seminars and meetings held in a number of countries and regions and from contributions to workshops organized by various socio-professional communities (military, scientists, journalists, religious leaders, philosophers, youth, senior business management, entrepreneurs, etc.).
As they become available, the Proposal Papers will be distributed as widely as possible via the Internet and, in particular, on the Forum for a New World Governance’s web site.