6. Can globalization be controlled?
The issue of controlling or regulating globalization concerns elite officials
of states and intergovernmental organizations as well as opponents of
neoliberalism in pursuit of global justice. They often share a sense that
the current thrust of globalization may be irreversible and out of anyone's
control. They have several good reasons to think so:
- one of globalization's driving forces, technological innovation, is
- globalization results from the interplay of many parties (economic
and political), none of which exerts dominant influence
- old regulatory agencies devised by states cannot control processes
that exceed their territorial authority
- apart from minimal rules of competition itself, the world lacks a
single set of rules that serves to regulate transnational behavior
This concern has given rise to a now-fashionable interest in "global
governance," or the design of institutions that authoritatively manage
and regulate actions, processes, and problems of global scope or effect.
While some believe such governance is desirable but lacking, others think
it is in fact emerging in the work of various international organizations
and groups active in civil society. Though advocates of global governance
portray it as enhancing democracy, defenders of traditional democratic
values and state interests have questioned such claims.
Book on globalization, sovereignty, and governance by Gordon Smith and
Moisés Naím, prepared for 2000 Millennium Assembly, discusses
governing capacity of states, global democratization, and need for new
governance to realize potential of globalization
Commission on Global Governance
UN-supported commission of 28 leaders produced influential 1995 report
"Our Global Neighbourhood" and 1999 report "The Millennium Year and the
Reform Process"; proposes to strengthen global governance without creating
world government, while respecting the "rights of people and the role
of civil society"
Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise site offers skeptical analysis of
global governance proposals and Commission work as inimical to American
notions of liberty
Academic journal of multilateralism and international organizations offers
tables of contents, article abstracts, and links
Institute for Development and Peace (Germany) offers definitions (drawn
from bibliographic work on global governance by H. Mürle) and an
overview of debates and tasks
Center for the Study of Global Governance at London School of Economics
offers some online resources
Materials related to Millennium Summit (September 2000) of the UN, held
in conjunction with Millennium Assembly and preceded by civil society
Millennium gathering (May 2000), focused on UN's role in world affairs;
Secretary-General's report has section on globalization and governance,
calls for accountability, multilateralism, and strong legal order
Article by Joseph Nye (Harvard) on "Globalization's Democratic Deficit:
How to Make International Institutions More Accountable" calls for institutional
transparency but stresses role of domestic state institutions; argument
drawn from book
edited by Nye and John Donahue on Governance in a Globalizing World
Development and Peace Foundation (Germany) offers papers and symposium
materials on policy responses to globalization (many in English)
Conference reports on mostly international governance issues from foundation
advocating peace, freedom and justice on the basis of world citizenship
and global governance
International organization advocating world government based on law and
democratic institutions; offers overview of issues and programs
(back to the top)
- What is globalization?
- How does globalization affect women?
- Does globalization cause poverty?
- Why are so many people opposed to globalization?
- Does globalization diminish cultural diversity?
- Can globalization be controlled?