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Understanding the Global Community – Is Global Governance Possible?

>>>>Dean Grillot: So as we explore ways to
face challenges in the global community, we have to go back to this concept of global
governance or world government. Remember that earlier in the course we talked about anarchy.
We talked about international anarchy and the lack of a central authority, the importance
of a lack of a world government. Well let’s return to that concept now about global governance
as opposed to global government, right? We know that the global community does not have
a world government. We know there isn’t a central authority, there’s no elected official
that makes decisions for the global community. But there is this concept of global governance.
And again Professor Rebecca Cruise joins me to talk about this concept and what it really
means. Now that we’ve made this distinction between global government and global governance,
let’s talk a little bit about what that means. Professor Cruise, is global governance possible?
I mean, we kind of understand that global government isn’t possible. It’s not like we’re
going to go out and elect a world leader. But is global governance possible? How do
we know global governance?>>Dr. Cruise: Well to some extent we do try
to govern the international environment, and we have organizations, you’ve mentioned a
couple and throughout this course, the European Union is regional governance perhaps, the
UN, the greatest organization that attempts to govern internationally. I think it’s also
important to point out that countries do this when it’s in their best interest. They’re
willing to give up a degree of sovereignty to join organizations that will then assist
them in some function or another. But they only adhere to those decisions when it continues
to be in their best interests.>>Dean Grillot: So let’s pick up on that:
self-interest. So some would suggest that states within the global community actually
engage in collective action because it’s in their self-interest to do so. And I want to
refer back to concepts like neoliberalism, for example. But nonetheless, there are lots
of global problems, and and there, there are so many of them that that countries cannot
solve on their own. So they have to come together in order to govern issues, like, let’s just
talk about some examples: pollution, the Law of the Sea. Let’s talk about the Law of the
Sea Treaty. Let’s talk about maybe maritime security, right– the management of the oceans
and rulings on the high seas, if you will. I mean, that’s one way in which we govern
the global community, is it not?>>Dr. Cruise: It is. Likeminded countries
that are concerned about these issues come together in various ways. They can come together
and sign treaties, sign conventions. They can form an organization or be part of an
organization that deals with those issues, and they often will use reputational cost
or or reputational concerns to make other countries adhere by those requirements. But
these are not absolute, of course. We do have a Law of the Sea. It’s prohibited that you
pollute in certain areas. You’re supposed to respect that, countries that have signed
on are supposed to respect that. And yet we have some signators that don’t, and we also
have some that have not signed on that clearly do not either. So we can have those attempts,
but they’re only as good as the weakest link.>>Dean Grillot: Well there are thousands of
thousands of these kinds of agreements, treaties, organizations that do attempt to govern the
global community, if you will. But you raise this important point of compliance and enforcement.
I mean, who forces states, governments, individuals to comply with these types of regulations?>>Dr. Cruise: Really there is no set compliance.
We’d say even the United Nations has no teeth. They cannot take a country and charge them
with failure to comply to some protocol or some convention. What they can do, again,
is use reputation. They can shame a country for not complying. They can use sanctions–
can hit them economically. We see this happening in Iran right now where sanctions have been
placed on there, preventing countries from buying oil there, and trying to kind of squeeze
the governments there to then comply by some of these decisions. But when it really comes
down to it, there is no compliance guarantee.>>Dean Grillot: Well clearly, global governance
is a tricky concept but something that happens on a daily basis and something that’s going
to continue to happen, given the global community really is an interdependent one. But what
do you think? Global government? Would that be preferable? Global governance– is it possible?
Let us know.

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