Why Do We Need Global Governance Politics Essay

Ruling the world has been the main aim for every major leader throughout history. It is the feeling of power and achievement that makes one feel superior to any other citizen with older examples such as Alexander the Great to later (1900’s) ones such as Hitler and Lenin who eventually aimed for the same concept. However, the consequences of the actions of these leaders also resulted in corruption and revolution. Not only conflicts between average citizens were created, but also nation states prepared themselves to fight back.

Since the Second World War, organizations and unions have been created to maximize global governance and interference in order to prevent unbalance between states. Not only should one country have a say towards world issues, but decisions should rather be taken together and internationally which is the main characterization of global governance.

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Global governance derives from local democracy. The local laws further expand to national law where unions or organizations such as the European Commission unite the local and national votes into one. Today, global governance is at a point where it is being observed by not only statesmen but also its citizens. It has reached a peak where the involvement and cooperation of all societies is vital. The world situation is worsening where jobs have been lost; most farmers have been replaced due to globalization and environmental issues have cost billions. Yet, the biggest test (since the formation of UN) that global governance has been put to is the major economic crisis during these past recent years. It has experimented the boundaries and abilities on how states have taken action in the direction of governance and responsibilities towards world issues. It is therefore vital for such issues to be acknowledged, understood and spoken out about and by applying the three points, decent cooperations between states are created, debated upon discussed on how to tackle these issues.


With global interference and governance, new states that don’t have the ability to nationally build themselves up get the aid needed to sustain their state (e.g. Kosovo) from international movements and organizations. This concept also applies to failed or collapsed states for legitimate reasons. An example of this is the post colonial states. It was after the Second World War when states were being de-colonized and were gradually attaining independence from the help of the UN trusteeship council that assisted them to attain and stabilize their independence. This illustrates and proves that without global governance, that would not have been possible.

“A federation of all humanity together with a sufficient means of social justice to ensure health, education, and a rough equality of opportunity, would mean such a release and increase of human energy as to open a new phase in human history.”

H.g Wells [1]

It is a key role to have international involvement for a sustainable working economy and “fair” global politics. With globalization, one of the most important factors is the functioning and facilitation between borders and governments cooperating. By standing united, countries have more capacity through joint efforts than they most likely individually both economically and politically. An economical example is taken with the agricultural subsidies in France. Today millions of Euros of France’s GDP goes to agricultural farmers as subsidies every year, it is most likely that this would not be a possibility if it was not for the common policies which it is heavily dependent on of the European Union and the cooperation of countries such as Germany (being called the “core” countries, with France of Europe [2] ) -a major supplier of French subsidies.


By referring to the Schengen Zone, one can clearly see how global governance has turned to work out for the best. It is kept as a foreign policy where it first (of many reasons) make travel exceptionally simple. Another byproduct with the Schengen Zone though is that it also controls criminal movements. E.g. one may believe that it is very simple for criminals to pass around borderless countries without being checked at borders and sent back to their original location. Yes, indeed this is true, though at the same time it is very difficult for them to hide. When looking back before the creation of Schengen, if a criminal had illegally left and fled a country, due to judiciary policies and processes, these two countries (the original country and the one where the criminal fled to) would have to go through legal negotiations and procedures to be able to send people with such criminal records back. However, today due to being in a joint venture or an agreement, such issues do not occur. Instead of each country being very compact with its rules and borders, zones such as the Schengen have become stronger as a whole and less “harsh” internally. So yes, it may be very difficult to become part of the Schengen, but once you are in, you are free to go wherever within the border.

WTO – World Trade Organization

EU is aiming for a good common market between all nations including fair trade, therefore many organizations have been created to to keep issues such as trade and production of supplies arranged and fair between all countries. The World Trade Organization is the only global international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations [3] . Although the system has various flaws, the core values or the principles are important in bringing countries and policies together.

The way of cooperation may be strong; however the idea behind it is to establish fair rules and trades so that countries unlike e.g. the US can as well compete in the global market. This was a main aim of global governance which has proved to have some succession.

An important factor to keep in mind though is the comparisons of how the globe is today compared to the past. These days, the problems we face are different to the ones before. There is more terrorism (as people go by such means to get their voices heard), there is a more rapid climate change, financial problems and also pandemics such as HIV, which cannot be tackled easily and will be in need of global efforts. It is therefore very difficult as an individual state to face these problems and tackle them than it is more likely with the help of the trusteeship of other countries.

Global governance is a vital key towards mitigating conflicts and wars. Before the League of Nations, there was barely a platform for nations to meet and do decisions together. It was basically only individual states and the congress of Vienna and the Council of Europe. In other words, today, if a state wants to go into war, she can be stopped by its membership partners and together they will deal with the problems not having to use armed forces. If you compare this to the times before global governance was so important and played a role, then this country would already be preparing for this war. This proves that trusteeship is based on respect towards one another. It is like the second voice that makes you double think and council to before taking it a step further.

The League of Nations (1900-1924)

The League of Nations was an important breakthrough after the First World War with one main task: to maintain a war from happening again. It was after the chaos that erupted from the treaty of Versailles that people looked for hope in this league and mainly wanted stability.

This international body was created by Mr. Woodrow Wilson, who also was the president of the United States. What is ironic though is that the US decided they would not join this league, being as powerful as they were and as isolating as they were becoming.

The idea behind the League of Nations was very bright and many were keen on how it worked. Britain and France were the two most important nations that had joined this league as neither Germany nor Russia was allowed into it due to its internal problems. Germany who is claimed (by the Treaty of Versailles) to have started the war was not seen a as a part of the international community and was therefore not allowed to join the decision makers in the League of Nations. In one way though, this was a great relief to the league as it did not have to finance the country in bad times.

In spite of the joining of these two nations, the league was a good idea and it was a kick-off for global governance. It aided countries economically though not militarily (as in what the United Nations is doing today) due do its lack of weapons after the World War.

The league has been proven to be successful and given a great push towards global governance, the members together have prevented wars from occurring and by this cooperation, communication between the members has been enhanced.

Which reforms are needed in the UN for global governance?

Following the current economic situation in the world; booming of sub-national communities, the rise of strong nation states, successful regionalism and no compatibility in the globalization, things are bound to go on as long as there is no democracy and compromises triumph at all levels, so it was the responsibility of the UN to step in and make the difference (Reforms at the UN). The UN is also charged with the responsibility of addressing governance challenges in sub-national and national frame work being one of the major international community organizations and has to take the role of supporting national governments democratic reforms. They have been claims on a major disconnect between the management of the international communities and the reforms that are associated with them. Gupta (p346) says that due to the above conditions, the UN had to do something and tackle those pending reforms. Though it had very many topics to be addressed, the main areas of concentration were suggested to be economic issues, security and legal affairs. It should be noted that the UN role in the mentioned issues vary and differ from each other.

Calls for reforms were also received from world leaders such as the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Felder (p36) asserts that he warned the UN that time was running out for them to make global governance reforms on economic, political and environmental crises. He stated that the world was facing a lot of challenges like global warming, recession, poverty and nuclear proliferation and said that the world is getting impatient of waiting for the reforms. He mentioned some specific areas that he felt really needed to be reformed like the expansion of it membership, restructuring of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, equal rights of voting among nations and the curbing of the green house gases. The Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi also called for reforms in the Security Council so as to make the body more representative and effective and economic reforms that would take into account the voices of more countries.

Reforms needed in the UN for global governance

Most of the panel members were for the idea of the reforms being undertaken by the United Nations but some still said that no reforms were needed. Though there were some disagreements here and there on some specific issues like the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organizations, the call for reforms was clear both from inside the UN and the outside world. The reforms cut across several areas and agencies and differed from one to the other depending on the importance and the how adverse the area was affected. On July, Kofi Annan released the Maurice Strong’s plan who was the Executive Coordinator to begin reforms of the United Nations which at that time was considered as a sprawling system. The reforms mainly involved the implementations of the many recommendations that were brought forward by the commission on Global Governance (Klingbeil, p349). The UN had appointed a Commission to look at the global economic and financial crisis and it had come up with its own recommendations reforms.

The reforms covered areas such as; The International trade in Agriculture and the Right to Food. As a branch of the right to live, the right to food was aimed at guaranteeing every human being to be free from hunger. To achieve this, the Agricultural trade policy had to be formed to help fulfill this right. This was not obvious as it could also serve as a hindrance if it was conceived but in neglect of the human rights (Bongang, p86). It called for all the states to respect all the human rights while entering trade agreements. Basing on the report from the commission, especially the part covering the World trade Organization and the right to food suggested the strengthening of the special role of agriculture in trade agreements. This would ensure that the two are compatible with the states responsibility to fulfill its populations Food rights. The commissions came up with the possibilities to reconcile the human rights requirements and trade policies (Global Policy Forum). The commission also had recommendations towards a Socially Responsible and Democratic Global Economic system. It suggested for transparency, accountability and governance in central banks, national governments and international financial institutions. These institutions had rushed blindly with efforts to rescue the global financial system and the reforms were to step in and check on this urgent pace. The commission then came up with proposals and principles which would strengthen these reforms and enable the institutions move towards a more democratic global economic system and socially responsible. The proposal faced challenges as these institutions denied some of the allegations on transparency and accountability (Zifcak, p50). Like the Central Bank claimed that it would be transparent only if it followed simple and previously policy goals particularly on commitment to use monetary policies in fighting the price inflation on commodities and not asset bubbles. The policy asserted that the asset inflations can be ignored considering the consumer price inflation and at the same time the asset deflations also cut into profits.

The Security of Council also came to question and the commission suggested a new approach to it. This was not the first time the Security Council had come under scrutiny as the UN members had been discussing reforms on it over decades but nothing had really come out of the discussions. The suggestion was that a council which was newly forged and one that had a common ground on which progress could be easily made. The Security Council is charged with the responsibility to maintain peace and security internationally. The council comes up with resolutions that bind all members the UN Member States. The responsibility needed a lot of reforms in order to become more democratic, transparent and accountable to the UN member States and to the public. The reforms are as delicate as they are political in nature and the situation worsens when it gets to enlargement and debates covering regional political rivalries. The procedural issues also make the reforms more complicated as there are some which can be implemented while others require voting which will need amendments in the UN charter and changes in the council composition. The proposals may result to the Member States holding on to their old positions although they will be given the freedom to change (Oxford Journals). Members are also going to find other avenues to address their issues and the reforms will remain a national interest issue that have strategic interest regionally and global power ambitions.

The International Financial System also needed reforms according to the commission as it was at the peak of financial crisis hence something had to be done to avoid such situations in future. It advocated for the repudiation of the US dollar to be the key international currency and that it should be able to bear responsibilities that come along (Herman, p213). The commission also insisted on the importance of adjusting mechanisms that will solve the imbalances in the international payments and how the capital controls stabilizes the international financial market. It directed most of its efforts on the role of the regional monetary cooperation. The reforms faced challenges from the US which was against any changes that would result to the dollar loosing its standards though it accepted to adjust the voting shares between European countries and Asia.

There was a strong call for sustainable Governance for the 21st centaury. To attain this, the UN had to address economic and environmental crises and the changing geopolitics. The UN was running out of time to position itself in a way that it could effectively manage the new global changes that included the financial and economic crisis, energy and food crises and climate change. Hence the commissions recommended the transformation in policies governing human resource and provide findings for UN research. It also came up with ways of improving the leadership policies by Secretary -General especially in times of crises and the establishment of an institution that was independent analytically. The UN was asked to improve its own policies on research capacities, planning and better division of labor between other multilateral organization and the UN. The UN also had to check on its democratic support and it was challenged to come up with a new beginning democratically. The financial crisis was believed to be the opening for democracy support and to achieve a democratic future, the UN was supposed to respond directly to crisis especially concerning economic vulnerable, it should direct specific focus on young democracies and support them and come up with ways of strengthening international organizations.

Which model should we use in global governance and why?

When it comes to governance, all aspects should be included so as to come up with a government that is efficient, democratic and meets all the needs and expectations of the people it governs. This is to say that in governance, the executive, legislature and judiciary should not be divided into separate and independent bodies. Such divisions limit the proper working of the government and the excesses by the government since all these three are required for making, executing and administering laws. This not only applies to a nation but cuts through even for global governance hence the best method that can be used in global governance should be a model that includes all the three branches of government.

With the incorporation of all the three, then we will achieve the global governance that we need. With the prevailing world situations and crisis, we need institutions and governances that are democratic, transparent, accountable and those that can work properly with the civil societies and the NGO’s. All these are beyond what a single country can achieve no matter how powerful it may be to solve all these and still be responsible enough to cater for the responsibilities of all the mankind. Trenkov (p90) says hence the need for a world institution which has the legitimacy, clout and the caliber to handle effectively all these weaknesses and enact the possible reforms. An organization that can be fit to do such is the UN. We need a government that will ensure that international cooperation grows stronger despite the rise in the number of rifts and divides, global governance that will provide solutions to the increasing security concerns, come up with policies that will strengthen the civilians and not the military. One which has policies that protect and conserve nature and also addresses all the causes of insecurity clearly providing good solutions. All these are just but some of the roles the UN.

The UN considers dialogue and diplomacy in handling military parties, pass resolutions and sends peacekeepers to solve disputes. The UN has peacekeeping troops and personnel in more than 110 countries which are normally send all over the world for peace keeping missions. Some of the organizations that have exercised global governance include International Criminal Court, MDGs and Kyoto. The NGOs and civil societies have also been working globally without biases. They have worked together in issues like protecting the environment, helping the poor in fighting HIV/AIDS and have taken part in prosecution for crimes against humanity. Treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have contributed in large extent to the global security and economic development.

What are the main difficulties when achieving global governance?

The issues and difficulties with global governance usually start at the same point which is state sovereignty. The Westphalian system – “the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on two principles: territoriality and the exclusion of external actors from domestic authority structures ” [4] is widely popular and accepted worldwide. Any kind of attempt of an external interference with any kind of domestic issue is usually not widely welcomed. States can feel this comes with a loss of their independent decision making. However what one must always consider is that all states are involved in the decision making process and that means that the outcome selected is a product of their thinking as well. It does not mean that a state can be governed by a third power and that it can interfere in it’s issues without their permission.

Other than the actual issue of loosing the concept of self – decision making and sovereignty, the concept of the ruling system of global governance itself is often considered a problem. This is mainly related to the way of how for example the United Nations system is carried out. As it is the largest decision making body in terms of the global governance issue, it can be used as an example for any further innovations of the system.

Overall the main difficulty to overcome in the UN is the system of votes and the share of power. There are two main problems with this topic. Firstly the system of votes gives every country the same vote no matter what size, political and economical characteristics it might have. As this may seem like a rather fair system, which is how it was initially meant, in real daily basis of decision making in the UN it means that states much smaller in size and economical power can decide on issues which do not relate to them at all or will not influence them at such a large scale. The second problem the UN might have in terms of it’s power sharing is the widely criticized Security Council and overall the fact that a few set selected states with rather larger amounts of power, govern the UN and have a bigger say in the decision making process which is then unfair because no matter what issue comes up a hand full powerful countries in the world will always be at the centre of the decision making, often rather than those who would be influenced by this issue in the future.

Another major issue of global governance comes down to the characteristics of a democratic process. In an ideal democratic discussion as all parties should be heard and considered and a debate over all the concerning aspects should be carried out, the process of decision making through global governance can be longer as compared to the one on only a national or regional scale. As the duration of the decision making process grows the effectivity of the policy implemented declines.

To conclude the major points that make it difficult for achieving global governance these would include : fears of losing state sovereignty, criticism of the vote share both in the General Assembly and the Security Council and the speed of decision making and it’s effects on implementing various policies.

How to overcome these difficulties of global governance

The reason behind why some states are threatened by global governance and fear the loss of

sovereignty is due to the fact that either they feel excluded from the decision making and fear that they will be ruled by another power or that there are issues which tackle topics that might be considered as nationalist.

To improve this a different system of voting sharing could be imposed. If decision making only touches a few countries than these countries should have a bigger say in the process as it will concern only them and no one else. However it is important to somehow maintain the process as of course countries may be biased. Therefore this policy would usually not be helpful if only one country is concerned by a topic as naturally it would just defend it’s stand without any need to compromise. On a regional scale of a few countries that all understand the issue and might bring something new into a collective debate, it would be more progressive to only apply regional governance rather than global. Another positive aspect of this solution would be the fact that countries that are not involved with such an issue what so ever would not spend on time on such things and would be able to focus on other important issues that need to be solved.

The fact that certain issues may concern topics that touch the nationalist side is widely known. As the sense of nationalism usually varies across the world it is very difficult to point out exactly what topics should be off limits when it comes to the decision making. While topics such as culture are very obvious, other aspects vary as different countries take pride in different areas and losing the power to fully ad solely decide in such areas would mean losing a sense of national pride. Such topics that should be off limits should be discussed and decided by the general body of the global governance to avoid any sense of misunderstanding and unnecessary pressure in the future.

A reform in the Security Council has been widely discussed. It is obvious that this system does not fully support democracy but on the other hand benefits few and takes away power from the small states. The main problem with Security Council seems to be the fact that the setting we practice now in the UN can be rather permanent. Some suggest a rotating presidency would bring more efficiency in the Un as the decision making would then be balanced. However this on the other hand might not be the most effective solution as any kind of mistake could be blamed on the ruling circle before the present Security Council.

One of the greatest improvements global governance needs is interconnectedness. As global governance is an aspect of globalization it should stand up to the standards of growing interconnectedness of the world. This means it should connect it’s public and private sectors, regional and global aspects and encourage citizenship participation.

A greater interconnectedness of public and private sectors be it in the economical, educational or medical sector would not only help to improve these areas by bringing in new aspects and a broader view on things but would work in a greater stabilization of the sectors and most importantly it would possibly prove more efficient in implying certain policies and would make it a faster process when implementing various policies.

A more cooperative regional and global approach would help focus on the areas really needed in regions in turns rather than trying to generalize a solution which may not be as efficient at times. If regions we’re able to present a unified solution in the start it would mean that the issue of single votes would not be as problematic as before.

An encouraged citizenship participation could bring in new ideas and aspects and again a more focused approach on certain ideas. A citizen’s view might bring in new insights and ideas which on a greater scale if they are unified can serve the population’s specific needs rather than generalized policies. It should be a vital point in the decision making of global governance which is only highlighted by this quote of “Listening to what citizens have to say is the surest way of meeting their needs. And the organization of world governance needs to be founded on the satisfaction of these needs. The principles of citizenship are therefore a necessary condition in the creation of any new model for managing the planet.” [5]

It is important to understand why achieving global governance is so important, what it would bring to world citizens and what are the criteria for overcoming difficulties with global governance. For this it seems rather appropriate to quote Dr. Rajesh Tandon, president of the FIM [6] (Montreal International Forum) and of PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia) and his works on “Democratization of Global Governance for Global Democracy: Civil Society Visions and Strategies (G05) conference.”

“Democratic policy at the global level requires legitimacy of popular control through representative and direct mechanisms.

Citizen participation in decision making at global levels requires equality of opportunity to all citizens of the world.

Multiple spheres of governance, from local to provincial to national to regional and global, should mutually support democratization of decision making at all levels.

Global democracy must guarantee that global public goods are equitably accessible to all citizens of the world” [7]


So to conclude it is important to understand the points mentioned above fully as without legitimacy and control of power, equal opportunities to all world citizens, democracy and accessibility of public goods and services a reform of global governance is not possible as it needs the basic criteria to develop.

Fears of losing state sovereignty, issues of nationalism, criticism of the vote share both in the General Assembly and the Security Council and the speed of decision making and it’s effects on implementing various policies all have to be dealt with through a changed voting system in the UN, areas restricted to global governance and areas that are off limits and should only be dealt with on a national scale, a reform of the Security Council and very importantly a greater need of interconnectedness on all levels.

The UN would not have managed to meet its expectations and the requirements of the 21st century without reforming several aspects of its governance. Its responsibility is to protect the ordinary people against poverty, conflicts, diseases, hunger and erosion of the natural environment. With the reforms at place, the organization is now in the best position to carry out these global governance issues that happen to be under the jurisdiction of the organization, it is independent and indispensable to the international community and has all it takes to handle global governance issues. Hence we can see that the UN is the best global governance we can have to promote peace, rule of law, protection of human rights and development of the poorest regions in the world.


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