The limits of global governance

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However, this 'realist' - in political theory terms - world-view, whose seeds were largely planted in the midth century by the Treaty of Westphalia and Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, has not been left unchallenged. On the contrary, globalisation and its multiple tenets have casted severe doubts on the predominance and centrality of the state in global politics. Among other things, the liberalisation of trade, the financialisation of economies labelled the 'third industrial revolution', and the transnationalisation of production chains raise a host of questions.

Do these streams of globalisation render the interlinked economies more efficient? Is the financial sector really fit for the reallocation of capital for economic progress, or does it instead lead to new forms of global cartelisation? And how hegemonic is the ideology of neoliberalism that considers the individual to be the main economic actor, and forces competition upon and among citizens in ever more spheres of their daily lives? Scholars of international relations, global governance, and political theory have undertaken countless attempts to conceptualise and describe these developments and their implications for the realists' presumed supremacy of the state.

Are we witnessing what James Rosenau has called 'fragmegration' - a mix of fragmenting and integrating processes that transcend the distinction between national and international?

Global Challenges Foundation | China’s role in global governance

Are states disaggregating because of expanding 'transgovernmental networks' that increasingly incite interaction and imitation between regulators and legislators from various domains, as Anne-Marie Slaughter, drawing upon Keohane and Verba, has suggested? Are states taking on the more limited role of a mere 'competition state', to use Prof Cerny's words, whose main objective is to facilitate and support competitive economic activity at the expense of welfare provisions, for instance?

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Has economic policy undergone a shift towards 'financial Keynesianism' of quantitative easing at the core of the new 'bail-out state', as described by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine? At first glance, the forces of globalisation raise more questions than could possibly and consensually be answered.

And yet, the real novelty of this era, Prof Cerny insists, is the fragmentation of the state itself, triggered by an unprecedented transnational dimension of globalisation that cuts across landscapes, policy areas and realms of authority; or what Cerny calls 'neopluralism'. Drawing on Robert Dahl's conception of domestic pluralism, neopluralism thus maintains a globally 'durable disorder' - also qualified as 'neo-medievalism' by Prof Cerny and others. This leaves us with two competing schools of thought: realists on the one hand and globalisation theorists on the other.

The Limits of Global Governance: Transnational Neopluralism in a Complex World

Maybe not least because of the very scholarship's predominant and dazzling conceptual pluralism, Prof Cerny himself remains rather sceptical of what global governance scholars seem to assume and suggest. In his view, wherever you find and whatever you call the state's supposedly emerging competitors, they can hardly pass for autonomous actors. Can we be confident that our existing modes of global governance are sufficient, or adaptable enough, to meet the challenges of globalization?

This new study powerfully tackles these key questions, delivering a provocative examination of the cognitive, practical and political limits on our ability to exercise systems of regulation and Are we creating an ungovernable world?


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This new study powerfully tackles these key questions, delivering a provocative examination of the cognitive, practical and political limits on our ability to exercise systems of regulation and control on the same scale as the globalizing forces already shaping the human condition. Get A Copy. Published March 25th by Routledge first published September 16th More Details Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews.

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