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Über dieses Buch

The contributors highlight alternative imaginaries and social forces harnessing new organizational and political forms to counter and displace dominant strategies of rule. They suggest that to address intensifying economic, ecological and ethical crises far more effective, legitimate and far-sighted forms of global governance are required.



1. Reimagining the Future: Some Critical Reflections

This introduction reflects on some of the principal theoretical perspectives on global governance in relation to the critical purpose of this book: to analyse global governance as it is, and as it ought to be, at a crucial historical conjuncture. This is followed with a brief outline of two dimensions of the current organic crisis of global governance. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of the contributions.

Stephen Gill

2. Horizons of Global Governance

I think that the subject matter that we are addressing in this volume infuses the core of what we can expect and hope about the future of world order. The future of global governance is well encompassed by a suggestive comment made in an essay of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century poet/philosopher, who wrote ‘the health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired so long as we can see far enough’ (Emerson 2000: 11). A line from the fellow transcendentalist of Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, complements this call for longdistance visualization: ‘It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ By highlighting such assertions I am expressing my belief that the interpretative gaze crucially informs any discussion of the past, present and future of global governance.

Richard A. Falk

3. Income Inequality and the Future of Global Governance

For more than three decades, the contours of global governance have been shaped relentlessly by the imperatives and outright failures of neoliberalism. The analytic utility of this latter term has been broadly debated, not the least because neoliberal governance, on both national and global scales, has been inventive, shifting and increasingly detached from the maxims of neo-classical economic theory that initially gave this governing experiment scientific legitimacy and guarded it from political contestation. From its conception, the neoliberal project has been grounded in the foundational claim that ‘there is no alternative’ to its prescriptions for market-friendly limited government, privatization, deregulation and financial liberalization on a global scale. Critics of neoliberal governance responded that these governing ideas were socially and environmentally unsustainable and that financial deregulation, which tied the global economy together with invisible threads of wagering, greed and vulnerability, was a ticking time-bomb (Bakker and Gill 2003, Brodie 2007). This reorientation in governance, nonetheless, was embraced and propagated by the most influential international financial institutions and global policy networks, the most powerful economic regions and national states and, eventually, whether by coercion or acquiescence, all but a handful of marginalized states.

Janine Brodie

4. Beyond Inequality: Expulsions

This essay seeks to try to decipher key mechanisms of our major global governance systems. Here I confine myself to the global political economy and its governance mechanisms, aimed largely at helping the former work better and unconcerned with issues of social justice. One key outcome of this combination of political economy and governance mechanisms is the increased expulsions of people, places and smallholder economies from what we might refer to as the mainstream economy. This is a process that began in the 1980s in much of the world and is present even in countries with high growth rates. The fact that this period also saw unexpectedly high concentration of benefits in a robust 20% at the top of the income structure invites an interrogation of what we have come to designate as global governance.1 My question is global governance for whom?

Saskia Sassen

5. New Constitutionalism, Democracy and the Future of Global Governance

This chapter develops a series of arguments concerning the relationships between new constitutionalism, democracy and the future of global governance. It argues that global governance today is most fundamentally about the relationship between democracy and capitalism. In particular this is because new constitutionalism defines capitalist governance, both locally and globally, by setting clear limits to democratic practices.1

A. Claire Cutler

6. Trade Agreements and Progressive Governance

The adoption in the mid-1990s of the investment and services chapters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the establishment of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) were significant breakthroughs for corporations attempting to ‘secure protection for property rights and investor freedoms on a world scale’ (Gill 2000a: 9).1 Such international treaties extend far beyond trade, binding signatory governments at the federal, state and local levels and restricting all types of government measures, including laws, regulations, procedures, requirements and practices.2 They become external constitutions, disciplining governments and shrinking their policy flexibility in matters once considered to be mainly internal.3

Scott Sinclair

7. Towards Gendered Global Economic Governance: A Three-Dimensional Analysis of Social Forces

This chapter examines some of the key ideas, institutions and power potentials that constitute the principal social forces associated with the architecture and practices of global economic governance. The chapter highlights their gendered and socially unequal character and distribution repercussions in the light of the global economic crisis. How this situation might be transformed to produce a different kind of global economic governance that acknowledges the inequalities of race and class and particularly gender and an economic system premised upon human needs, is discussed in the final part of this chapter.1

Isabella Bakker

8. Remaking Progressive Global Governance: Some Reflections with Reference to the Judiciary and the Rule of Law

In what follows, I address two related themes: first, the need and desirability of understanding the ‘Other’ of global governance — namely, global resistance, and second, the role/rule of law in the making of both progressive (or indeed critical) global governance and progressive global resistance. I wish to argue that the best practices of progressive global resistance have contributed a good deal to the conceptions of progressive global governance; in this view then resistance, far from regarded as epiphenomenal, remains integral to progressive global governance. I also address the international adjudication process as contributing to progressive global governance/progressive global resistance formations.

Upendra Baxi

9. At the Historical Crossroads — Radical Imaginaries and the Crisis of Global Governance

It is important to re-emphasize in conclusion that it was never the purpose of this volume to offer a single perspective or voice on questions of global governance. Rather it seeks to offer a continuum of perspectives encompassing not only critical theory (as opposed to problem-solving theory) but also what I call ‘critical problem-solving’. So what follows is my review of some of the new imaginaries and forms of praxis that may have a transformative impact on global governance at what might be suggested, is an historical crossroads in world order. They seek changes in the direction of historical forces so as to transform prevailing structures of subordination, exploitation and dispossession and associated tendencies towards health crises and despoliation of the biosphere. Such novel, radical paths towards the making of history can be related to new forms of political agency in the emerging figure of what I call the ‘post modern Prince’ (Gill 2000b).

Stephen Gill


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