Global Governance Reform

Global Governance Reform: Breaking the Stalemate

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 142
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  • Book Info
    Global Governance Reform
    Book Description:

    The current international system of institutions and governance groups is proving inadequate to meet many of today's most important challenges, such as terrorism, poverty, nuclear proliferation, financial integration, and climate change. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and UN were founded after World War II, and their structures of voting power and representation have become obsolete, no longer reflecting today's balance of economic and political power. This insightful book examines how to make such institutions more responsive and effective. Institutional reform is critically needed but currently in stalemate. A new push is needed from powerful nations acting together through a reformed and enlarged G-8 that includes emerging economies, such as China and India. Global challenges demand integrated approaches, with greater coordination among international institutions. Global Governance Reform argues that without reconstituting the Group of 8 summit into a larger, more representative group of leaders, with a new mandate to provide strategic guidance to the system of international institutions, the world will fall further behind in addressing global challenges. The path to global reform is defined by the need to act in coordinated ways on summit and institutional reform, and this book lights the way.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-1369-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)

    Governance has been at the core of the Brookings agenda since the institution was founded ninety years ago. In those days, the word referred almost exclusively to national governance. As time went on—and in particular after World War II—the concept was broadened to include global governance. A Brookings scholar, Leo Pasvolsky, played an instrumental role in designing the structure of the United Nations. Today, international institutions face major challenges. This volume of essays by noted experts in their field looks at both specific institutions and the international system as a whole. Its unique contribution lies precisely in that...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Introduction and Overview
    (pp. 1-12)

    On January 9, 2006, the lead editorial in theWashington Post, entitled “Globalization’s Deficit,” surveyed the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G-8, the United Nations, and NATO and found that they “have run out of forward momentum” and that “the stalling of international institutions is striking—and troubling.” Those comments suggest that the international system of institutions is inadequate to the tasks of the twenty-first century, tasks that have changed dramatically with the advent of globalization. Moreover, most of today’s global institutions were created in the middle of...

  6. Part I. International Institutional Reform

    • 1 IMF Reform: Congruence with Global Governance Reform
      (pp. 15-31)

      A reassessment of the mechanisms of global governance and proposals for institutional reform, including reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are high on the agenda of the international community. A number of aspects of global governance that involve the IMF are included in the IMF managing director’s medium-term strategy, which was discussed at the spring 2006 meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). On the matter of quotas and representation—a long-standing source of tension in the community—the managing director proposed a two-step process. In the first stage, by the time of the annual meetings in...

    • 2 Strengthening the IMF: Lessons from History
      (pp. 32-49)

      The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was designed and founded at a strategically important moment in world history. The Allied victory in World War II was in sight, and the economic depression of the 1930s was still a vivid memory. Consequently, the collective will to avoid a repetition of the quarter century of chaos that had followed World War I spearheaded multilateral discussions on how to create a stable economic and financial system for the postwar world. In the ensuing six decades, despite the many problems associated with globalization, the success of that system has far exceeded the vision of the...

    • 3 The World Bank: Toward a Global Club
      (pp. 50-59)

      The World Bank can be thought of as a particular type of global club, with a structure close to that of a credit union in which the members are nations.¹ Its mission, as originally conceived—to promote broadly shared and sustainable global prosperity—serves the common interests of all its country members. The World Bank is not, of course, the only global club (the largest in number of members is obviously the United Nations), and it is not the only credit union whose members are countries—there are, for example, regional development banks, the European Investment Bank, and, for some...

    • 4 United Nations Reform
      (pp. 60-74)

      The fifty-one countries that founded the United Nations in 1945 meant to create an organization that would save the world from the kind of global catastrophe that they had endured twice in three decades—a major war among nations. The leaders of those countries based their design for the organization on the prevailing realities of their time. Nation-states were by far the most important, if not the only, significant actors on the international scene and certainly the only ones that could cause large-scale violence and make decisions to avoid it. Their relationships with one another depended at root on their...

  7. Part II. Global Governance Reform

    • 5 Summit Reform: Toward an L-20
      (pp. 77-86)

      The United Nations summit of September 2005 was conceived with lofty expectations for strengthening the system of global governance by reforming and strengthening the UN. However, little was achieved. That failure has left unanswered the challenge of creating a more legitimate—that is, more effective and inclusive—system of global governance than currently exists.

      The many global tasks confronting world political leaders today—whether the stalemate of global trade negotiations, the threat of avian flu, the struggle over Iran’s plans for a nuclear program, or the fight against global poverty—cannot be solved by yesterday’s institutions. Such tasks demand new...

    • 6 The Bank-Fund Ministerial Committees
      (pp. 87-99)

      Two ministerial committees meet at the annual spring and fall meetings of the board of governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and of the World Bank to provide guidance to each institution and to chart a course for the international community in dealing with international monetary issues and development problems. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) of the IMF focuses primarily on the international monetary system and matters of direct relevance to the fund, whereas the Development Committee, a joint committee of the bank and the IMF, gives priority to developing countries and development challenges, including resource needs....

    • 7 Global Health Governance
      (pp. 100-107)

      The field of global health has changed dramatically and with almost startling rapidity over the past few decades. The changes have been sweeping, affecting its structure, content, and scope. Only thirty years ago the world was celebrating the total eradication of smallpox, a disease that had been a universal scourge for centuries and that now, or so it was thought, would disappear completely into the history books. At that time, no one had heard and few, if any, had conceived of the possibility of other viral pandemics becoming as blatantly and relentlessly threatening as have HIV/AIDS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome...

    • 8 Global Environmental Governance
      (pp. 108-114)

      While a great deal of attention has been paid to the need for reform of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, there is an even greater need for reform of global governance in the environmental domain. Trade liberalization, economic integration, and development to support poverty alleviation all require a degree of global governance. Economic interdependence creates a clear logic for structured nation-to-nation cooperation based on the premise of shared gains from enhanced trade as well as the promise of greater peace and stability in a world where economic aspirations are being met.


    • 9 Global Governance Reform: Conclusions and Implications
      (pp. 115-132)

      The principal concern of this volume is that the international system comprising both international institutions and global summit-level steering groups is inadequate to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Most of today’s international institutions were founded in the mid-twentieth century. They were based on the global challenges and power configurations that existed following World War II, when colonialism still reigned, the United States dominated the war-damaged industrial countries, and the cold war began to create divides between East and West. Today, the world is more integrated, and the divisions of colonialism and the cold war are matters of the...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 133-136)
  9. Index
    (pp. 137-142)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 143-145)