Global Governance

2 minute read

Hufty describes Global Governance as a concept for establishing order in international regimes (Hufty, 2009). The concept emerged due to the absence of a supra-state entity in the international systems that could arbitrate conflict between actors. According to Hufty, the complexity in the number of participating actors and the institutionalisation of international life establishes the concept as multilevel governance (Hufty, 2009). Global governance aims to solve co-operation and decision-making problems through consensus without paying attention to relative powers in international regimes. Hufty highlights an innovative definition of governance established by the Commission on Global Governance (CGG) (Hufty, 2009).

Commission on Global Governance (CGG) defines governance as the ‘sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and co-operative action may be taken’. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest (Hufty, 2009).

According to Hufty, from an analytical perspective, this definition captures all relevant actors and both formal and informal agreements (Hufty, 2009). It is procedural and takes into consideration the continuous change in the relationship between actors (Hufty, 2009). However, it fails to deal with the nature of agreements reached and their suitability in solving fundamental problems (Hufty, 2009).

Considering the definition provided by Hufty from a generic perspective, it is clear that it is aimed at establishing incentives that in turn, stimulate behaviour without being prescriptive on expectations and processes. This is evident in the definition through the emphasis on the actor’s individual interest, and the co-operation process that in turn, facilitates establishing these expectations. Additionally, the scope is maintained at social relations level through the identification of all contributing formal and informal arrangement between actors without reduction to a technical system.

An observation can be made that the level at which the Commission on Global Governance operates gives the reason for their definition resembles social governance fundamentals defined by Hufty. CGG operates at the highest level of society that has an absence of higher authoritative system and thus requiring other mechanisms of social organisation. Furthermore, CGG demonstrates the capability to understand the factors and relationships that would be contributing to global governance while avoiding involvement in the many ways each individual society develops its own methods of governance.


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