Global Governance: “A Philadelphia Moment”?

An obvious puzzle for friends and foes of international cooperation is how to explain why order, stability, and predictability exist despite the lack of a central authority to address the planet’s problems. In short, how is the world governed in the absence of a world government? This paper explores the concept of global governance and answers three questions: Why has the concept of global governance emerged? What is it? And finally, where is global governance going?

Key Findings

Most countries, and especially the major powers, appear very distant indeed from accepting the need for elements of a global government and the necessary accompanying inroads on national autonomy. However, and as far-fetched as it may seem at the moment, global federalism may not seem unlikely a half-century or a century from now. In light of experience since the Treaty of Rome in 1957, it is illogical—unless the European Union is sui generis—to argue that supranational organizations are unthinkable.