Frank Rosenau Dissertation

Frank Rosenau Dissertation-64
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.

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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.

Although independently these theoretical paradigms are deficient, together they go a long way in explaining power, order, norms and change in the world order.Turner states that the emergence of a global civil society – including international organisations, social movements and the growing rights discourse among others – has fundamentally challenged state-centered realist assumptions, necessitating a reconceptualisation of the global order beyond that of anarchism(Ibid, 36).According to the Commission on Global Governance, governance involves the “the many ways that individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs” (O’Brien, 2000: 2).As an emerging concept in international relations (IR) theory global governance is a global political project that has challenged the capacity of the social sciences to generate theoretical insights and practical tools to explain contemporary transformations in the global order.Indeed, in the absence of an overarching political authority in the anarchic international realm, academics have sought to make sense of the new world order – global governance is an example of this attempt. (2002) note that the discourse around global governance has followed a series of developments: initially it focused on the emergence of international governance regimes and norm setting within regimes and then pertained to the growth in the number of international regimes in the 1980s and 1990s and research on the influence of the regimes on policies pursued by nation states (Biermann et al., 2002).Together, these developments have facilitated the development of new global actors and networks, and have reordered the global system to create “generalised principles of conduct” (Ruggie, 1998).Connecting Governance to the Global Realm According to Scott Turner (1998), the emerging global order poses empirical and normative challenges to the state-centered, realist paradigm of IR (25).To learn more or modify/prevent the use of cookies, see our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.uses cookies to personalize content, tailor ads and improve the user experience. Organising the theoretical literature according to the paradigms of realism, institutionalism and constructivism, this section delineates the characteristics of each paradigm according to the key themes, determines the interpretation of each paradigm of the concept of global governance, and identifies strengths and weaknesses of each paradigm in conceptualising global governance.The third section bridges the theoretical paradigms and fills the persisting gaps, utilising Rosenau’s concept of global order, to generate an aggregate/eclectic conceptualisation of global governance.


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