The Architecture of World Governance
The UN Reform and the Alterglobalization Movement
Setting up an Arbitration Tribunal on Debt: An Alternative Solution?
Dialogs on Party Systems and Global Democratization
For a Legitimate, Efficient, and Democratic Global Governance
Redefining Global Governance to Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century
The Future of Global Governance
Structure of Global Governance: Explaining the Organizational Design of Global Rulemaking Institutions
The UN and World Governance
The UN: Which Reforms for What Future?
From Westernization to Globalization. A Brief History of Chinese Modernity
Moving Toward a New World Governance
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility
Participate in the Drafting and Circulation of the Charter of the Peoples of the Earth
The Future of Democratic Sovereignty and Transnational Law
Can We Close the Education Gap?
Charter of the Peoples of the Earth
Videos of the Governance and Ressentiment Seminar
The Emergence of Global Administrative Law
Thirty years of Habitat I: no more neoliberal model of cities!
Decent Work as a Goal for the Global Economy
Earth System Governance - The Challenge for Social Science
The State of the Right to Education Worldwide: Free or Fee
Greenhouse-gas Emissions and Global Mitigation Efforts
The Post-modern State
Rio+20 and Beyond. No Future without Justice
World Governance. A Personal European View
Theories of Global Governance
First Proposals for Building a New World-governance Architecture
Seven Leverage Points for the Passage from Economy to Œconomy
Alterglobalization, a Long-term Process Leading to Alternatives
Another System of International Relations
Do Space and Action Have to Be Contradictory? Toward an Inclusive WSF Strategy
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there are some who believe that the future of architecture of global politics will require setting up a global-governance system. The global-governance issue is characterized by the shift from a scenario where the power of the states is regulated to avoid disequilibrium and maintain the status quo, to one where international law and the role of international institutions need to be redefined in terms of their real arbitration potential in the management of global problems. To achieve this shift, the authors consider that rather than dreaming of a hypothetical global democracy or global government, it would be more reasonable to move gradually through the definition of the problems and objectives, in an approach similar to that adopted to build the European Union
More that the shock of September 11, 2001, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of a very long period of international history, that of the "balance of powers." Since this historic event, the planet has been in a phase of geostrategic rupture. The "national security" model, although still in force for most governments, is gradually giving way to an emerging collective conscience that goes beyond this excessively restrictive framework.
There are some who believe, including ourselves, that the future of global architecture will require setting up a global-governance system. However, today the equation has become significantly more complicated: whereas previously, it was simply a matter of regulating - and limiting - the power of states in order to avoid disequilibria and maintain the status quo, it is hereafter imperative to shape the world’s destiny collectively by setting up a system to regulate the numerous interactions that supersede state action.
The main problem of governance, a problem with which we must cope every day in our daily lives, is that institutions have been set up, which define their objectives in terms of their competences (and their limits), when they should be doing the opposite. The global-governance issue is characterized by the fact that objectives are being defined through an institutional void at the international level - with the UN, and more generally speaking public international law, playing the role of the tree that hides the forest - and as a result, it is the states that are forced to solve problems that are beyond their competence and even their comprehension. How can states, with institutions poorly designed to solve even their domestic problems, be expected to solve problems that go beyond their political framework? Seen as such, the concept of "collective security" does no more than magnify the problem, as this security is only an aggregate of state institutions. It is significant that the concept of governance itself is perceived as a whole that makes little distinction between local, national, and global governance, the objectives of these different levels often being close or interconnected.
How can governance and global governance be conciliated? There is the root of the problem, since the key of the history of international relations is precisely in the fact that these two problems have been approached in radically different, even opposite ways.
The problem facing those who would like to see a true global-governance architecture emerge is that making such construction dreams come true does not in any way resemble anything that could possibly be built, given the constraints, limitations, and obstacles that we are often tempted to overlook or minimize. Thus, rather than dreaming of an illusory global democracy or a hypothetical global government, it would be more reasonable to move gradually through the definition of the problems and objectives with a view to design the type of structures and institutions likely to take vigorous action to solve specific, given problems. It is only through this sort of gradual progress that a "global governance" worthy of its name might take shape, and there is no way of knowing beforehand what it will look like as, by definition, it will take the shape of the objectives that it will set progressively.
This approach is entirely different from that adopted by the architects of the League of Nations after World War I, or of the UN after World War II, as well as, moving further back in history, from the internationalist dream that France’s Henri IV maintained with his "Grand Design" for Europe. From a philosophical and political point of view, our approach would be closer to that adopted by Jean Monnet and the first architects of what was going to become the European Union.