This chapter evaluates global governance and how it relates to international law. It addresses the role of international organizations in processes of global governance, charting their rise from the nineteenth century onwards. Two international organizations exemplify semi-legalized governance beyond the state: the United Nations and the European Union. Sovereign states, of course, continue to play a central role in the institutions, processes, and mechanisms of global governance. The chapter then explores the extent to which a state’s power, influence, and legitimacy are affected by factors such as its domestic political arrangements and its adherence to the liberal, Western values that underpin the postwar order. It also assesses whether the proliferation of legalized and semi-legalized global governance regimes amounts to a constitutionalization of international relations.
4. International organizations, states, and global governance
28. Global trade and global finance
This chapter explores important issues in the conduct of global trade and global finance. In particular, it looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the experience of global trade and global finance in recent years. It asks why the global economy is so good at allowing some people to own untold riches while many others have too little money to meet basic subsistence needs, and whether the world would be better or worse off without the institutions of global economic governance. After discussing the globalization of trade and finance, the chapter considers the regulation of global trade and global finance. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the Covid-19 vaccination programme and global economic recovery and another looking at US President Joe Biden's proposed global minimum corporate tax rate.
7. Global economic and trade governance
This chapter addresses the intersection of international law and international politics as it relates to global trade. To study global economic governance is to study international law, international relations, and international political economy (IPE) all at once. The chapter begins with a brief introduction to IPE, a discipline which seeks to understand the workings of the global economy in its political context. It examines the relationship between economic globalization and state sovereignty, before turning to the construction of the postwar global economic order, with a focus on the Bretton Woods institutions. The postwar global economic order has often been described as ‘liberal’ by virtue of its underlying assumptions and the ideological convictions of its framers. Importantly, the postwar liberal order was built by, and for, the developed countries of the Global North-a fact that has informed critiques emanating from the developing countries of the Global South. The chapter then assesses global trade governance, analysing the structure, powers, and role of the World Trade Organization.
Edited by Nicola Phillips
Global Political Economy explores the breadth and diversity of this topic and looks at the big questions that matter today. It addresses essential topics and themes, such as poverty, labour, migration, and the environment. With a strong emphasis on ‘globalising’ the study of this subject, the text introduces the idea that it matters who is talking and writing. It explains that there are different ways of seeing the world, and that bringing together different theoretical and methodological perspectives adds to the depth and richness of understanding. In addition, chapters look at globalism and neoliberalism, finance, trade, production, health, climate change, inequality, crime, migration, and global governance.
18. Global Europe: A Pivot to Asia?
Stephan Keukeleire and Hai Yang
This book has so far shown that the European Union (EU) has consistently sought to exercise structural power to influence the developments of third parties and the arrangements of regional and global governance to its preferences, and the (in)effectiveness of its foreign policy is inextricably associated with the internal character of the EU. This chapter showcases that the EU’s engagement in Asia—a region with several systemically important geopolitical and economic players and one of increasing relevance to European interests—is no different. As elsewhere, the EU’s search for strategic relevance in this region has been impeded by both internal and external factors. For now, its ‘pivot’ to Asia remains elusive.
20. The Stability of EU Policy-Making in a Turbulent World
Mark A. Pollack, Christilla Roederer-Rynning, and Alasdair R. Young
This chapter examines trends in European Union policy-making during times of multiple, overlapping challenges. It first considers the main trends in EU policy-making that emerge from policy case studies, including experimentation with new modes of policy-making, often in conjunction with more established modes, leading to hybridization; renegotiation of the role of the member states (and their domestic institutions) in the EU policy process; and erosion of traditional boundaries between internal and external policies. The chapter proceeds by discussing the issue of national governance as well as the interaction between European and global governance. Finally, it explores how the EU has responded to the challenges of Brexit, the politicization of the Union, geopolitical upheaval, and the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.
9. Environment and climate
This chapter begins by looking at mainstream and critical perspectives on the relationship between globalization and the environment. It shows how race and gender are implicated in the distribution of environmental harms, and how clean and safe environments in the Global North often come at the expense of communities in the Global South. A case study of green technology reveals that this asymmetry also characterizes efforts to transition to more sustainable societies. There are four key perspectives on globalization and the environment: liberal environmentalism, eco-Marxism, environmental justice, and ecofeminism. The chapter then turns to the topic of global governance to see how environmental multilateralism has developed over the past five decades, and the tensions that remain between global rules on trade and the environment.
9. The European Union and the Global Political Economy
This chapter examines the position of the European Union (EU) in the global political economy (GPE). It also highlights key dimensions of change and development, and evaluates the EU’s impact on the operation of the contemporary GPE. It does this by examining key ideas in international political economy (IPE), by relating these to the growth of the EU, and by assessing the EU’s role in the GPE in three areas: European integration itself, the EU’s engagement in the GPE, and the EU’s claims to be a major economic power. The final part of the chapter brings these together with an analysis of global economic governance—in particular, the EU’s role in the financial, multilateral state system with its principles of global governance, and pays some attention to recent crises (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
4. Non-state actors
This chapter focuses on non-state actors in global environmental governance. Non-state actors, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), corporations, and transnational networks, play an increasingly significant role in global environmental politics. Some of them, such as Greenpeace and Shell, became well known by communicating directly with the public or consumers. Others, such as the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education or the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, are less visible to the wider public but no less influential. The scope, diversity, preferences, methods of engagement, and contributions of non-state actors to global environmental governance are often overshadowed by a focus on state actors. The chapter sheds light on how non-state actors engage in global environmental governance and highlights how they shape the political landscape in this field.
27. Global trade and global finance
This chapter explores important issues in the conduct of global trade and global finance. It asks why the global economy is so good at allowing some people to own untold riches while many others have too little money to meet basic subsistence needs, and whether the world would be better or worse off without the institutions of global economic governance. After discussing the globalization of trade and finance, the chapter considers the regulation of global trade and global finance. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the ongoing trade war between the US and China and the other with the effect of tax havens on overseas aid budgets. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that addresses the question of how far the institutions of global economic governance currently go to work specifically to the benefit of developing countries.
6. Global environmental governance and climate change
This chapter focuses on the intersection of law and politics in global environmental governance. A key characteristic of global environmental governance is its fragmentation. The regulatory landscape is populated by a variety of hard and soft law regimes, institutions, processes, and actors, which address particular environmental challenges, or address them in particular ways. Yet there are core principles that are common to many of these regimes, including the precautionary principle, the prevention principle, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the concept of sustainable development. The chapter then turns to an in-depth analysis of global climate change governance. It traces the evolution of climate change governance from the creation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 to the present, focusing on the major legal-institutional milestones of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, the chapter returns to the problem of fragmentation, considering recent attempts to bring greater unity and coherence to global environmental governance.
2. Ideas about environmental protection
This chapter explores the ideas and debates which shape global environmental politics. At least three types of socially constructed ideas play a key role in international environmental governance: world views, causal beliefs, and social norms. However, ideas are not universally shared, which means that ideological clashes are a feature of global environmental governance. The chapter looks at five of the major ideological debates that have marked the evolution of global environmental governance. The first two debates present conflicting world views: the first concerns the scope of environmental values, while the second examines the intrinsic values of non-human organisms. The following two debates concern causal beliefs: one is about the relationship between human intervention and environmental protection, while the other concerns the relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation. The last debate considers different social norms related to environmental justice and the appropriate behaviours expected towards historically marginalized populations.
This introductory chapter presents global environmental politics as an important area of international and transnational cooperation and as a distinct field of study. First, as an area of cooperation, global environmental politics emerged out of the need to work together internationally and transnationally to address some pressing environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the rapid reduction of global fish stocks. Independent state action at the local and national levels is not sufficient to address global environmental issues: these issues require cooperation through global governance. Second, as a field of study, global environmental politics investigates the various dimensions of emerging actions on global environmental issues. It is a diverse field of study from both theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.
14. Global governance
Richard Jolly and Thomas G. Weiss
This chapter discusses ‘global governance’, the term now used widely to analyse the international system. Global governance consists of collective efforts to identify, understand, and address worldwide problems and processes that go beyond the capacities of individual states. The question of how to improve global economic governance can be understood by addressing the main ‘gaps’ in the international system: knowledge, norms, policies, institutions, leadership, and compliance. The chapter then presents three illustrations of current issues in global governance—and the gaps therein—to help in understanding international responses (both weak and strong) to communicable diseases, economic instability, and child welfare. Ultimately, addressing global governance problems requires more robust intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Lise Rakner and Vicky Randall
This edition examines the changing nature of politics in the developing world in the twenty-first century, with emphasis on the complex and changing nexus between state and society. It analyses key developments and debates, and this is illustrated by current examples drawn from the global South, tackling a range of issues such as institutions and governance, the growing importance of alternative politics and social movements, security, and post-conflict state-crafting. The text also discusses the Arab Spring and South–South relations and offers new case studies of Syria and the Sudan as well as China, India, and Brazil. This introduction considers the question of the meaningfulness of the Third World as an organizing concept, whether politics is an independent or a dependent variable, and a number of major interconnected global trends that have resulted in a growing convergence in the developing world. It also provides an overview of the organization of this edition.
11. Social Movements and Alternative Politics
This chapter examines how social movements in the developing world and ‘bottom-up’ alternative politics, supported by new technology and globalized networks, can strengthen democracy. It first traces the origins of social movements, showing how different forms of social movements have emerged and been influential during different periods, before discussing the main theoretical perspectives about why this is so and how we should understand this phenomenon. It then considers past and present social movements and alternative politics in the developing world, focusing on three categories: movements concerned with democracy and governance, movements concerned with identity politics, and movements concerned with social justice. It also describes the increasing globalization of social movements and explains what makes such movements successful.
7. International institutions
This chapter looks at intergovernmental organisations and international regimes. As several environmental problems have transnational implications, governments have been eager to establish international institutions to address these problems collectively. In the aftermath of the landmark 1972 Stockholm Summit on the Human Environment, states created several international institutions specifically dedicated to environmental protection. Over time, and in keeping with broader trends in global politics, these institutions have begun to interact with institutions that specialize on other topics. The chapter then tracks international environmental institutions' development and impacts over time. It also considers how international environmental institutions exhibit differing levels of autonomy, before going on to look at the interactions between international institutions, in particular the dynamics of synergy and conflict between them. Finally, the chapter studies the literature on actual or planned reforms to the institutional architecture for global environmental governance.
11. The European Union and the Global Political Economy
This chapter examines the position of the European Union in the global political economy (GPE). It also considers key dimensions of change and development as well as the EU's impact on the operation of the contemporary GPE. To this end, the chapter discusses central ideas in international political economy and relates these to the growth of the EU. Furthermore, it analyses the EU's role in the GPE in three areas: European integration, the EU's engagement in the GPE, and the EU's claims to be a major economic power. It concludes with an assessment of global economic governance, focusing in particular on the EU's role in the financial, economic, and sovereign debt crises.
9. Financial Openness and the Challenge of Global Governance
Louis W. Pauly
This chapter studies the globalization of finance. The world economy today reflects a systemic experiment involving, on the one hand, the unleashing of cross-border capital movements and, on the other, the dispersion of the political authority necessary to oversee and, when necessary, stabilize the markets through which vast amounts of capital now flow. Resulting tensions become most obvious during financial crises, when those flows suddenly stop or reverse their direction. In the late twentieth century, most such crises began in emerging-market or developing countries and had limited systemic consequences. In 2008, however, the global experiment capital market openness, now far along in its evolution, almost failed catastrophically when policy mistakes in the United States combined with large national payments' imbalances and a broad economic downturn to spawn a worldwide emergency. Shortly thereafter, Europeans at the core of the system narrowly escaped a similar disaster at the regional level. The chapter then explores key implications for contemporary global governance. It calls particular attention to the increasingly difficult and variegated politics of systemic risk assessment, emergency management, and future crisis prevention as the experiment continues.
8. Policy instruments and effectiveness
This chapter introduces several debates surrounding the effectiveness of global environmental governance. These debates are closely linked to the choice of policy instruments states make within international regimes. These public policy instruments include regulations, administrative standards, scientific indicators, financial targets, and accounting practices, among others. Whereas international institutions frame the general norms, principles, and rules for tackling environmental problems, instruments provide the toolbox of policy mechanisms that actors in global environmental politics use to implement those norms, principles, and rules. In some cases, the choice of instruments is made at the international level and applied in exactly the same way by a group of states. In other cases, the choice of policy instruments is left to the discretion of states, who can then choose among different alternatives to fulfil their international commitments. The chapter then explains the modalities, diffusion, and political effects of these policy instruments. Although the concept of policy instruments may appear technical and neutral, it shows how instruments can actually shape, modify, and even undermine global environmental politics.