Global Governance Reform and Informal Groupings

Image: Flickr, Luigi Strano
Image: Flickr, Luigi Strano

The global system has undergone significant changes in the past two decades since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It is no longer pivoted just on the advanced industrial powers such as the US, Europe and Japan.

Although these countries are still the driving force of global policy making, new centres of power are emerging, and power in the global system is diffused. This change is here to stay. Developed countries recognise that these emerging contours of complex interdependence are necessary to manage global governance. They are particularly important for responding to pressing issues of climate change, energy, economic and financial stability, security, and development.

Emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China are now at the centre of global transformations. They are co-defining the new architecture of global governance alongside established powers in global governance structures such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and global governance fora such as the G8, G5 outreach group and the G-20. The growing confidence in these countries rests largely on the strength of their economic activities, including growing production output and growing contribution to world trade, as well as on their rising intellectual stature in intergovernmental processes. This is a development that, in part, is attributable to openness and global integration, institutional and technological changes, as well as to emerging political forms of state-market relations.

The post-crisis structures of global governance are still nascent. How are divergent values and norms likely to be reconciled or accommodated in the emerging global governance architecture? These questions are addressed from a South African and African vantage point by SAIIA’s research in these areas.

SAIIA’s research in this area is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).