Why we need to talk about global governance

By: Nico Krisch & Annabelle Littoz-Monnet
Co-Directors of the Global Governance Centre


As co-directors of the Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute, we are excited to introduce our new blog on global governance. With this blog, we want to open a forum for exchange of views, ideas and information on issues related to global governance among our Geneva-based community and beyond. We will showcase research results from our various projects, publish think pieces from our collaborators, and highlight upcoming events. We do so, in the spirit of the Graduate Institute, in an interdisciplinary fashion and with a critical mind set – thoroughly interrogating the institutions, processes, norms and ideas that constitute contemporary global governance. And we aim to use our combined knowledge to intervene in policy debates whenever we can.

“We need global governance, but we also need to watch it carefully and be open about its flaws.”

Critical, profound engagement with global governance is today more necessary than ever. Caught between cosmopolitan visions, technocratic temptation, and populist challenges, the current global order is far from stable. It is bound to disappoint those who hope for a truly global community just as much as those who seek retreat into national frames. It suffers from a lack of democratic accountability as well as a Western bias, but at the same time global institutions are necessary to check the narrow pursuit of national self-interest and counter more blatant attempts at playing power politics. We need global governance, but we also need to watch it carefully and be open about its flaws.

Intervening in debates about the shape and direction of global governance requires a deep understanding of its origins and the ideas, processes and actors that stand behind it. It requires an appreciation of the complexity of the institutional setting and the enormous variation across issue areas and contexts. Global governance looks radically different in health and in finance, in human rights and security. It also functions quite differently whether in the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) or in more informal governance arenas such as public-private partnerships or self-constructed networks of private actors who try to find their own ways to regulate or shape policy solutions in specific policy domains. With the wide ranging expertise gathered at the Graduate Institute and in collaboration with its other research centres, we seek to contribute to a deeper and better informed debate about the past, present and future of global governance. We very much hope for an avid readership of the entries to come!


Nico & Annabelle

Nico Krisch & Annabelle Littoz-Monnet
Co-Directors of the Global Governance Centre


Interested in contributing to the Global? Please consult the submission criteria or simply drop us a line at globalgovernance@graduateinstitute.ch.

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