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Economic developments include the liberalisation of economies; the global expansion of trade; growing economic interdependence of countries (Ibid); the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions; the development of global financial centers; increased global capital flows; the growth of multinational corporations; and, the aforementioned expansion of MEIs.
The questions of how the concept of global governance can be used to describe the prevailing global order and what is the most appropriate way of formulating the concept of global governance are interesting not only because of the growing literature and interest in the concept and the fact that divergent theoretical frameworks have approached the conceptualisation of global governance differently; but, more significantly, they are interesting in that they challenge the limits of traditional IR theory to explain a world where the shape and importance of individual states is changing and the role of agents above and below the state is increasing. (1990), these realities have “constituted a formidable barrier to a theory of International Relations” and have contributed to questioning the capacity of the discipline to explain changes in an ever more complex world order, particularly given that evidence appears to “support conflicting theories equally well and that evidence varies in interpretation between theories” (54).
In response to the aforementioned questions this paper contends that although particular theoretical paradigms within IR emphasise specific characteristics of global governance, no single paradigm has been capable of capturing the complexity of global governance.
In terms of political developments, as a result of the emergence of actors and institutions above and below the state, such as Multinational Economic Institutions (MEI) (e.g.
International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation), Global Social Movements (GSM), as well as international law regimes, power – the ability to affect actor’s perceptions, intentions, or actions – is no longer specific to states in that it is has become increasingly diffused throughout the global system with the emergence of new centers and authorities beyond the state (O’Brien et al., 2000: 16).
Resultantly, the conceptualisation of global governance requires a combination of particular aspects of realism, institutionalism, constructivism, and pluralism.