Three points of view on global governance

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Going back to the paradigm outlined by McGrew, fundamental differences exist in the opinion on global governance as held by the internationalists, globalists, and transformationists.

The internationalists

maintain that in spite of the emergence of new forms of governance and supranational dialogue, the primary driver of global governance is the so-called hegemonic administration, run on the global scale by one or several superpowers. This view is entirely in line with the internationalist opinion that national states remain the crucial players in the process of economic and technological globalisation. In this model, the main role in global governance is then staged by the most powerful states, which may, if they choose, circumvent even the most influential inter-governmental institutions such as the UN, and enforce their intentions.

The globalists

see the globalisation process primarily as a hegemony of the global market. According to them, the market dictates even to the most powerful states nowadays. To express it in a sort of caricature, it is a relatively small, privileged group of ‘the world’s bourgeoisie’ who rules the world and sets the fundamental rules by enforcing global capitalism in the globalist view of the world.

The transformationists

recognise the importance of both powerful states and multinational capital, saying at the same time that fundamental changes are taking places in the structures of global governance with ever increasing numbers of players asserting themselves and active – in absence of an obvious global centre – at many levels on which a permanent global discourse is held. Whereas the internationalists and the globalists emphasise a certain type of determinism, the tranformationists put the stress on the reflexivity – that is, seeking ever new models of global governance in the context of criticising the inadequacy of the existing ones. Unlike the two other views, which emphasise existing structures, the transformationists emphasise the process.