New Modes of Pluralist Global Governance

Lecture Series "Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Authority in the International System"

Prof. Robert O. Keohane,
Princeton University

16 October 2013, 6.15pm
Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 3



This talk will describe a new mode of pluralist global governance, which my co-authors (Graine de Burca and Charles Sabel) and I describe as “Global Experimentalist Governance.” Experimentalist Governance describes a set of practices involving open participation by a variety of entities (public or private), lack of formal hierarchy within governance arrangements, and extensive deliberation throughout the process of decision making and implementation. It is characterized also by continuous feedback, reporting, and monitoring and by established practices, involving peer review, for revising rules and practices. Experimentalist Governance arises in situations of complex interdependence and pervasive uncertainty about causal relationship, and its practice is illustrated by the arrangements devised to protect dolphins from being killed by tuna fishing practices; the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Montreal Protocol on the Ozone Layer. Without presenting a full theory of the conditions under which Global Experimentalist Governance arises, I put forward four tentative hypotheses about these conditions, for discussion. I propose that governments must be unable to formulate a comprehensive set of rules and efficiently and effectively monitor compliance with them; they must not be stymied by a lack of agreement on basic principles; civil society actors must be deeply involved in the politics of the issue; and the issue must not be a matter of high politics.

Robert O. Keohane is Professor of International Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984) and Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (2002). He is co-author (with Joseph S. Nye, Jr.) of Power and Interdependence (third edition 2001), and (with Gary King and Sidney Verba) of Designing Social Inquiry (1994). He has served as the editor of the journal International Organization and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association. He won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, 1989, and the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Science Po in Paris, and is the Harold Lasswell Fellow (2007-08) of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Programme (pdf): click here



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