Global Governance - Reading notes

5 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Michael Painter- Main

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Description
The idea of global governance It is not of course a new idea Dreaming of a world without war or of government without tyranny idealists have advocated some kind of world or universal state since the classical period The end of the Cold War together with the emergence of various intractable global problems has spurred the resurgence of writing about world government In this essay I will introduce three themes that appear frequently in this writing how the collective action problem lies behind many of the current global crises the debate between those who support a softer form of governance and those who look toward a fullfledged world state and the fundamental question of whether world government is possible and whether it is even desirableTHE INTENSIFYING DANGERS OF INTERNATIONAL ANARCHYCOLLECTIVE ACTION PROBLEM Certainly one of the most evident failures of the nationstate system in recent years has been its inability to deal successfully with problems that endanger much or most of the worlds population As the world has become more globalizedeconomically integrated and culturally interconnectedindividual countries have become increasingly averse to dealing with international problems that are not caused by any single state and cannot be fixed even by the focused efforts of individual governments Political scientists refer to this quandary as the collective action problem by which they mean the dilemma that emerges when several actors have an interest in eradicating a problem that harms all of them but when each would prefer that someone else do the dirty work of solving itIf everyone benefits more or less equally from the problems solution but only the actor that addresses it pays the costs then all are likely to want to free ride on the others efforts The result is that no one tackles the problem and everyone suffers Several such collective action problems dominate much of international politics today and scholars of course debate their importance and relevance to world government Nevertheless a few obvious ones stand out notably the imminent danger of climate change the difficulty of addressing terrorism and the complex task of humanitarian intervention All of these are commonly though not universally regarded as serious problems in need of urgent solutions and in each case powerful states have repeatedly demonstrated that they would prefer that somebody else solve themThe solution to the collective action problem has long been known it requires the establishment of some kind of authoritative regime that can organize common solutions to common problems and spread out the costs fairly This is why many scholars and activists concerned with acute global problems support some form of world government These advocates are not so naive as to believe that such a system would put an effortless end to global warming terrorism or human rights atrocities just as even the most effective national governments have not eradicated pollution or crime The central argument in favor of a worldgovernment approach to the problems of globalization is not that it would easily solve these problems but that it is the only entity that can solve them
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