Frontiers of Globalization and Governance Series
Event Date and Time:
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
McKeldin Library, Special Events Room #6137
International Institutions in a Multiplex World
Amitav Acharya, Ph.D., UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance, Professor of International Relations, School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C.
"Global Governance in a Multiplex World"
The emerging world order is going to be neither multipolar nor bipolar, but a multiplex one. A multiplex world is defined by actors that are not just the great powers, as with a multipolar system, but also by others such as regional powers, global and regional institutions, corporations, social movements, and transnational criminal and terrorist organizations. In a multiplex world, there is no single hegemon, and interdependence is both global and regional in scope. As with a multiplex theatre, there is a variety of plots, actors, directors and producers to win the audience. What sort of institutional landscape will emerge in the multiplex world? Reform and shared leadership is vital to fostering democratization, legitimacy and longevity of existing global institutions. New institutions initiated by non-Western nations will join existing ones and add to the pressures for their reform. In some parts of the world, regional governance mechanisms are likely to assume greater importance, even at the expense of global institutions. Some of these will be under the influence of the emerging powers. There is also likely to be a growing trend towards inter-regionalism. All these trends might create short-term institutional uncertainty or even chaos, but pave the way for a new, multiplex, global governance structure.
Virginia Haufler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Government and Politics, Director of Global Communities, University of Maryland, College Park
"Private Authority in Global Governance"
Globalization has created many problems that cross transnational boundaries and escape the oversight of traditional governments. International organizations often lack the authority and capacity to address transboundary problems effectively. For a range of problems—economic, political, environmental—the private sector has sometimes stepped in to develop rules, standards and institutions at the global level. These include governance by corporations alone or in partnership with non-profit organizations, international organizations and governments themselves. But—where do they get the authority to establish global rules? Who benefits—and who does not? Do these systems even work? Some view these systems as providing needed order and a normative framework to a chaotic global system. Others see them as another instance of corporate power and the weakening of traditional government authority.