Critically Evaluate the Case for and Against Global Governance Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Category: Governance

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1.0Introduction: Mulley (2008) defines global governance as government-like activities in the international system. Over the past eight decades, it has been possible to witness the growth and development of the various institutions and organisations that compose modern global governance. From the creation of the United Nations to the establishment of the European Union, global governance has had a major influence on politics and on our everyday lives. The purpose of this essay is to examine the different aspects of global governance and attempt to critically evaluate arguments for and against its existence.

Therefore, this essay begins with the case against global governance by questioning the role of global institutions systematically focusing on some of the major failures of the international system, such as the managing of the world financial crisis of 2008. It then moves on to evaluate whether the current international community is able to face challenges such as growth of global inequality and global warming (Jayadev, 2010). Subsequently, the successes of the various bodies of global governance such as the United Nations Social and Economic council and its Millennium development goals and the benefits of the Single European market will be discussed.

Moreover, the essay will analyse some current trends, such as the global warming agreement reached recently in Cancun Mexico, which give cause for cautious optimism (Mulley, 2008). Ultimately, this essay constructs a balanced analysis of the positive and negative arguments on global governance and will eventually evaluate whether the arguments proposed reach a coherent and plausible conclusion

2.0 Arguments against: After outlining the structure of this paper, this essay will begin by evaluating the arguments against global governance. Firstly, it will analyse the classic argument of the governance dilemma. Boyer et al, (2007) describes the governance dilemma as the increasing need of more and more countries for international organisations to address problems on a global scale¦, yet when these institutions undermine state sovereignty the nations become less and less willing to support them. This view suitably represents the concept of the governance dilemma because as Boyer et al (2007) later states The appropriate role of global institutions in matters that cross state sovereignty is a matter of high profile and controversy.

To support this argument it is necessary to look back on the behaviour of ex U.S President George Bush during the prelude to the war in Iraq. Initially, he stated that Although I would like the United Nations Security Council to sanction military intervention in Iraq, I do not feel it is necessary (Boyer et al, 2007). However, he concluded that the U.S will act unilaterally, I am confident the American people will understand that when it comes to our security if we need to act we will act. We really do not need the United Nations approval to do it. (Boyer et al 2007).

It is clear that global governance cannot function without the support of the nations and of their peoples and that at the same time a growing number of the policy challenges facing states in the contemporary global system are transnational in character and thus demand multilateral solutions for effective resolution (Mearshimer, 1995). Nation states need to find a balance in the interdependence between national and supranational otherwise global governance will remain ineffective. As author David Held (2006) proposes: The paradox of our times refers to the fact that the collective issues we must grapple with are of growing cross-border extensity and intensity but the means for addressing these are state-based, weak and incomplete.

Secondly, the essay will look back at the events of the world financial crisis of 2008 and why global governance has failed to deal with it in an effective way. It is a fact that policy making in the aftermath of the financial crisis was nationally based rather than dealt with at an international level. In addition it could be argued that not only responses to help countries unable to deal with the crisis were weak and non-committal but also that international institutions themselves were a major contributor to the crisis by providing narrow policy advice (Jayadev, 2010). The Commission of Experts set up by the President of the United Nations agreed with the latter point in chapter 4 of their report: The response of international financial institutions to the global financial crisis has demonstrated the urgency to review the adequacy of their mandates (Jayadev, 2010).

International organisations did not recognize the weakness of the global economy but they also promoted policies that prevented national authorities from protecting their citizens from economic instability. It can be argued that from the point of view of poorer countries the outcome of the financial crisis is simply a reflection of the continuing failure of global governance. In fact the UN estimated that up to a 103 million more people would fall into poverty because of the crisis and worse of all the IMF estimated that the cost to African economies from the crisis was around $250 billion (Jayadev, 2010). This argument once again proposes the problem that the members of current global institutions continue to rely on the Westphalia assumption that the nation is the one that acts and makes decisions (Jayadev 2010).

Furthermore, the paper moves onto the more delicate subject of the failure of most international organisations in effectively resolving global and non global conflict. The shocking case of Rwanda is probably one of the clearest examples of moral insufficiency of contemporary global governance (Murphy, 2000). From April to July 1994 between 500,000 and 800,000 people including ¾ of the Tutsi population were slaughtered. The events happened despite a widely ratified UN Genocide Convention and ample warning provided to the UN secretariat and the Security Council by its own officers in the field (Murphy, 2000).

The consequences of the genocide were dramatic. Author Peter Uvin (1998) writes: The Tutsi military government seized power to stop the genocide and consequently moved on to trigger a cascade of wars across central Africa. The whole International community was blamed and put to shame. By analyzing the reasons why the international community was set up, most important one being to avoid international conflict, it could be argued that the failure to effectively intervene in a conflict is the biggest and most important failure of global governance.

Finally, the literature arguing the case against global governance brings up another flaw of modern international organisations, more specifically referring to the need of a reform in the UN structure. It is possible to observe that at the moment the United Nations Security Council largely reflects the situation of 1945. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America have been the permanent members for decades. The last decade brought major changes in the global political economy; there has been a greater economic output from countries such as India and Brazil and yet Belgium still holds more quotas than Brazil, 2.12% against 1.41%, at the International Monetary Fund (Jayadev, 2010). The economic and political scene is clearly changing and so should the various bodies that make up global governance.

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