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Politics Essays – Organisation Global Governance

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Organisation Global Governance

Introduction and organisation of work

Contemporary international politics have rendered irrelevant the Westphalian order which bestowed sovereign states ultimate authority within a defined territory. This began shortly after the end of the Cold War in 1989. The end of the war gave the hegemonic power; the United States the chance to reform the world along its capitalist ideology.

Coincidentally, the animosities suppressed for decades by the Cold War alliances were also released and led to intrastate conflicts. The effects of these post cold war relations led the society to metamorphous into the emerging system of governance.

Professor Duffield in his book, ‘‘Global Governance and the New Wars: the Merging of Development and Security’’ postulates that the emerging system is that of a global governance which emanated out of the complexes into a system striving to address the development and security issues.

To assess this argument, this paper is divided into five parts. The first part will be used to define key concepts while the second part will evaluate the post cold war changes and trace the erosion of the powers of sovereign states to show the vacuum being filled by global governance.

The third part will evaluate the strategic actors of the process and trace the networks of operation adopted by each. The fourth part will examine the process of governance between state and non state actors, identify the approach adopted by the system to contain or neutralise conflict and the concluding part will examine the effectiveness or otherwise of this approach.

Definition of Concepts

Complex emergency is defined by United Nations agencies as any crisis capable of igniting a conflict-related humanitarian disaster and social dislocation which requires a collective response from the international community (Duffield 2001; 12). Complex emergencies are easily identified by these characteristics; deteriorating central government, ethno-religious conflicts, food insecurity, drought, hyperinflation just to mention a few.

These emergencies lead to the displacement and subsequent movement of people (refugees) across national boundaries (Weiss and Gordenker; 1996,67). The clashes between insurgents and government troops in Somalia, the Darfur crises in Sudan and the looming crisis in Kenya following the results of the just concluded elections are examples of complex emergencies.

Globalisation is simply the process of increasing interconnectedness between societies such that the event in one region have impacts on people in other parts of the world (Baylis and Smith 2001;8)

Duffield defined globalisation as the process of deconstruction and decentralisation of the power and authority of the state. He noted that the growing influence of non state actors, market liberalisation, formation of networks between various actors from the local to global level are stages in globalisation which has given rise to a growing private sector (Ibid;2001,164).

Proponents of Neo medievalism opined that the process where states are overlaid, cross-cut and replaced by a range of multilayered public/private arrangements bridging the micro-level, the meso-level and transnational poses a threat to state stability. They predicted a likely replay of the medieval period and its chaos as the modern day state structure in the face of overstretched functions (Cerny; 1998).

This neo-medievalism fear is being solved by the emerging system of global governance which Duffield opined that it is an adaptive and selective inclusive system that;

‘‘thrives on creating networks that bridge traditional boundaries, specialism and disciplines…In response to the new wars and the merging of development and security, innovative strategic complexes-linking state and non-state actors, public and private organisations, military and civilian organisations, and so on (Duffield 2001; 45).

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Global governance to Weiss and Gordenker is the summation of efforts meant to bring more orderly and reliable responses to social and political issues beyond the capacities of individual states (Weiss and Gordenker; 1999, 12). Finkelstein (1995; 365) defined global governance as governing without sovereign authority with relations that transcend national frontiers. It is simply a new infrastructure of global regulation that has evolved, reaching ever more deeply into the domestic affairs of states and societies (Held and McGrew;2002, 8).

Post Cold War Changes

During the period before 1970s, state government aspired and provided several welfare services to its citizens. However, the end of the economic boom in the North that began in the 1940s challenged the ability of the state to meet the welfare needs of the populace. Instead of providing more welfare services, the growing inflation led to increased tax which resulted in revolts in Carlifornia, Denmark etc. (Wilson, G. 2000,238 ).

While the state was being internally challenged, the end of the Cold War and the raise of capitalist ideology brought external challenges of globalisation to the overstretched states. Free market economy reduced state powers to impose tax or regulate imports and exports.

There was also an increase in nationalist separatist movements such as the Irish troubles in Britain, Quebec crisis in Canada, separatist movement in Basque land in Spain, Italian Northern League secession, France has Corsica conflicts to deal with. These conflicts compounded the plight of the sovereign state and resulted in adjustments of state authority. The South was not excluded from these crises but rather had more challenging situations to deal with (Graham, W. 2000).

The new wars account for the raise in seceded state in the 1990s. Singapore and Bangladesh were the only countries to succeed in the 40 years before 1989 while the 1990s witnessed the emergent of 10 states. Failed states also became a reoccurring phenomenon in Africa. The on-going Islamic fundamentalism is part of post cold war development that is challenged the essence of sovereign nation-states (Duffield, 1997, 528, 2001,13).

Rather than interpreting the new wars as symptoms of a failed modernisation process, Duffield views them as extension of politics between opposing societies which transforms the socio-economic and political sectors of the societies.

The new wars and the decline in parallel economy brought about a new socio-economic and political structure in agreement in Duffield notion on wars. This is reflected in the number of countries that subscribed to the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) of the World Bank. This transformed most economies into shadow economies and opened them up to international influence. Donor aid agencies applauded this transformation to conventional international practice by stating that such policies complement their development activities.

Part of the reforms of SAP is the privatisation of state owned enterprises to cut down government welfare expenditure. Duffield contends that SAP polices ‘‘accelerated the dismantling of non-viable state patronage networks’’ (ibid; 2001, 150). Privatisation opened state economies to international financial institutions and brought about innovatory reforms.

The 1980s was marked with therefore marked with efforts by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan and leaders of the north to roll back the frontiers of state. Their successors also accepted that the time had come to modify state competence as the verbal rhetoric was matched with state reforms.

Efforts to salvage the dwindling economies and escalating new wars resulted in a re-interpretation of development and security as interwoven. Tracing the new wars to development crises, raised the awareness that ‘‘poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere’’ and the mergence of development and security efforts. Underdevelopment is now considered dangerous and capable of causing violence and regional instability. This posture is accented by the European Union and other organisations. The EU asserts this fact by stating that development agencies need to take into cognizance the need to balance various interests in the society to legitimise democracy while building peaceful conciliation between various interest groups. (Ibid; 2001, 38)

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Duffield opined that, post cold war security threat to the North is no longer perceived in terms of interstate conflicts to be defeated through formation of alliance and nuclear deterrence.

The new wars blur distinctions between civilians, army and government. The nature of these intrastate conflicts resulted in the formation of network and links between non-territorial states and non-states actors akin to the threat. Instead of military alliances, state governments now team up with NGOs, donor agencies, military organizations and other development partners. Security sector reforms which aims at providing security for people in an effective and efficient manner within a democratic civilian control is now universally pursued.

These developments reduced the power of sovereign states to independently resolve all the crises within its territories. While states were losing their competence, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation increased their influence as proponents of the emerging liberal economy.

The liberal market favoured conglomerates who were now transnational corporations after buying up public enterprises. The formal power the states had to regulate the economy and provide welfare services to the populace were now with the international financial institutions and transnational corporations.

In the same vein, the trans-border crises led to a proliferation of community bases and international NGOs. In partnership with each other, these NGOs have a world-wide network advocating for better conditions and providing humanitarian services to people, especially in war torn states. Hence, NGOs became relevant organisation meeting the needs of people while the states were cutting down their public expenditure.

To establish a liberal peace through conflict resolution, society reconstruction and establishment of a functioning market, states and non states actors entered into a purpose driven relationship analysed in the following section.

Key Actors and Networks of Global Governance

To limit global governance to humanitarian intervention, multi-lateral relations and all that without looking at the economic driving force is limiting the entire process. It is common knowledge that the liberalisation policies formulated by the Bretton Wood Institutions set the set for globalisation.

The institutions are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The World Trade Organisation (WTO) by virtue of its role in the international financial system partners with the two. These three financial institutions regulate the system of global governance base on their different mandates.

The World Bank promotes Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) as the panacea to problems of underdevelopment and fund large scale development projects. The IMF provides loan to interested countries while the WTO sets the rule for free and fair world trade. They work together to open up channels and remove barriers in every country for free flow of trade and investment across boundaries. (Cavanagh and Mander; 2004, 55)

The Structural Adjustment Programme, the recipe for development works by devaluing the country’s currency, liberalising markets, eliminating tariff and cutting down government expenditure through removal of price subsidy (Ibid; 2004 ). Though World Bank conditionalities have drawn criticisms from various sectors, it remains the condition for taking development loans. This financial power of the World Bank has spread its influence worldwide, especially in resource poor countries.

World Bank loans have contributed to the development of some countries as well as entrapping others. The total debt of all developing countries in 1980 was $609 billion, the amount rose to $2.4 trillion in 2001. This shows the amount committed by the bank to development efforts and the debt burden which has become a string binding third world countries to the bank. (Cavanagh and Mander; 2004, 57).

Apart from providing loans to countries, World Bank also issues low-interest loans to transnational corporations to enable them establish control over natural resources. The bank remains a major contributor to global greenhouse emissions. The bank also finances capital intensive development projects in various states.

Similarly, the IMF was created to ensure stability in the international financial system. It does this by making balance of payment adjustments and imposing sanctions on erring states. IMF sanction is an effective tool for regulating nation states. In conjunction with the World Bank, IMF work strives to remove protectionism and other government anti-liberal economic policies.

The recent ‘comprehensive development framework’ enacted in consultation with the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Group of Seven (G7) shows the incorporation of state actors in the decision making process. The criticism of the SAP policy has necessities its modification. This shows that the body relies on input from the society to function properly. While it is difficult to list countries that developed on loans and economic prescription from the IMF, the body remains a key actor in the emerging global governance.

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The 1994 Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) armed the WTO with a strong enforcement system to coordinate fair trade among countries and impose sanction on those exceeding the agreed boundary. This regulatory power is demonstrated in the body’s sanction on the US when the latter tried to impose 100% tariff on certain European exports in retaliation to the 1999 WTO ‘banana wars’(Cavanagh and Mander; 2004. 66). The power to impose sanction, regulate trade and maintain order shows how the system is managed.

On-going plans by the WTO to further annihilate territorial barriers include the bid to prohibit government from making policies in banking, media and policy that give local investors preference over their foreign counterparts (Cavanagh and Mander; 2004,69)

The same economic arrangement is in the regions by regional banks such as the African Development Bank, (ADB), the Inter-America Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). These banks work with the various finance ministries and Central Banks in their region to tailor economies after the World Bank model.

Closely related to that is complimentary change in the commercial sector. Duffield asserts that liberalisation of the economy gives transnational corporations and private security firms economic powers to regulatory the economy and influence government policies. Therefore it is no longer possible for states to have a separate economy as all economies are controlled by transnational companies.

Willetts (Baylis and Smith; 2001, 430) observed that government have lost the control of financial flow as demonstrated by the currency crisis of 1980s and 1990s. During this period the dollar, the pound, the French franc and the yen were hapless against the transnational banks

The impact of these reforms is felt by countries trying to regulate internal commercial activity. Under unfavourable state economic policies, transnational corporations threaten to move their investments out of the country. Relocating these investments will ignite serious economic problems for the host countries such as unemployment and a fall in the gross domestic products.

Governments in their efforts to attract foreign direct investment formulate policies that accommodate transnational companies. Hence a government that imposes least demanding health safety, welfare and environmental standards is an investors’ haven (Baylis and Smith; 2001,431).

However, transnational corporations are not a low to themselves. Regulations on their conduct are arrived at between the corporations and the UN, an example is the 1999 UN Global Compact Initiative which deals with issues of labour, human rights and the environment. Transnational corporations also carry out various development projects in host communities under the principle of corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility ensures that corporations make business decisions that meets the ethical, commercial and public expectation of how business should be managed (Garsten, C: 2003, 360).

While building alliances with NGOs such as the Amnesty International and Transparency International, some transnational corporations adopted the voluntary codes of conduct and industrial human rights within their governing principles. A recent example of adhering to human rights principles is the recent withdrawal of some products from the market in by GAP, a transnational company following discovery that child labour was used in the production process.

Global governance has led to an unprecedented growth in the number of multinational corporations collaborating with the UN, World Bank and other actors of global governance. This resulted to various commitments made by NGOS, IGOs and donor agencies to partnership with the private sector to achieve sustainable development and security. The 1997 UK government White Paper on International Development made a commitment to;

‘‘move away from a narrow relationship based on individual contracts to a broader sharing of approaches to the eradication of poverty, drawing on the extensive skills of the British private sector’’ (Duffield; 2001, 63) .

Duffield described this system as one characterised by decentralisation of power, devolution of authority and cooperation in various capacities between states and non states actors, private and public institutions as well as military and civilian establishments. The emerging global governance thrives on establishing networks across boundaries to share information, build synergies of comparative advantage and coordinate actions against contemporary challenges.

This accounts for the continuous economic integration and political unification being pursued by regional organisations such as the European Union and African Union albeit weak resistance and hesitation from some member states (Duffield; 1997, 528). The border restrictions have withered away as citizens of any West African country has free access to other West African countries. In Europe, the Euro is now a legal tender within some EU member nations. Talks for common foreign policy and other unifying reforms are in high gear.

Despite losing some of its influence in the state due to the emerging global governance, Duffield alludes that ‘‘governments have acquired the ability to project authority through non-territorial and non-state systems’’ (Duffield; 2001, 72). Besides creating conduit for other actors to intervene in troubled zones, state participation legitimises activities of non state actors like NGOs. Governments’ controlled military force remains a sine qua non for peacekeeping.

As key actors in global governance, states make up the IGOs, regional organisations, and finance some donor agencies. A case in point is the US President Bush Emergency Plan for Aids Relief in Africa (PEPFAR), a health programme coordinated by the Harvard University in collaboration with local NGOs in Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria.

Closely related to that is strengthening of development and security ties between countries in regional, continental and multilateral organisations. Duffield posit that the shortly after the end of the Gulf War, the rise in complex emergencies demanded a system-wide approach to bring succour to the affected people. This led to the creation of the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) now Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to mobilise and coordinate aid agencies in emergency situations.

In the same vein, regional organisations emerged to prevent occurrence of man made emergencies and alleviate peoples’ suffering during complex emergencies in their regions. While the European Union established ECHO in 1993 for this course, ECOWAS has a Humanitarian and Social Affairs Department manage disaster and coordinate emergency management response team. ECOWAS Department of Defence and Security manage ECOMOG, the military monitoring unit of ECOWAS in conflict areas.

Apart from ECOWAS, other African countries group under other regional umbrellas such as the East Africa Community (EAC), Southern African Development Community (SADC) Community of Sahel-Sahara States (CEN-SAD) and others. These regional bodies meet periodically in the African Union to foster development and security of each region and Africa as a whole.

It is important to note that these bodies strive to partner with state and non state actors to provide succour during emergencies. A case in point is the recent assessment of development and stability of African states conducted by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) with the African Peer Review Mechanism. It is in this light that the African Union in collaboration with UN Global Compact is organising a forum on Africa’s industrial drive: The private sector and corporate citizenship billed for 22 January, 2008. With such trans-border relations’ going on in other regions of the world, to say that a system of global governance is emerging is stating the obvious.

Another response to the inability of states to solve world problems is the proliferation of influential NGOs since the 1990s. Duffield compared the current role played by NGO in complimenting government development and security strives with their former subcontractor status to illustrate this steady rise in their activities and influence. Presently, relationships are established as means to an end -sustainable development and security.

NGOs have taken over some functions of state governments. For example, the primary education in Sri Lanka was managed by NGOs when the state government collapse during the 1987 civil war while the Bangladesh Rural Action Committee (BRAC) runs 35,000 schools in the country (Weiss and Gordenker; 1996, 30). The World Bank also partner with NGOs to provide capital intensive projects in communities.

For example, the bank made provisions for NGO participation in 30% of its projects in 1993. In the same vein, the UN relies on NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance during and after conflict. NGOs managed 40% of the refugees created by the 1991 Kurdish crisis in Iraq while the UN catered for 30% of the refugees (ibid; 1996, 31).

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During conflicts, UN gets the consent of warring groups to enable humanitarian agents provide aid for civilian in war zone. This negotiated access has increased the influence and efficiencies of NGOs and other humanitarian groups.

The common commitment of NGOs to alleviate human suffering makes them intervene in emergencies. This can be through Northern NGOs funding relief efforts via their Southern partners or by direct involvement of local and international. In direct involvement, Northern NGOs build partnership with Southern governments, Southern NGOs and the local affected community (Anderson and Woodrow; 1998, 37).

Another pointer identified by Duffield to buttress the rising relevance of NGOs which supports his postulation of emerging global governance is the expanding network of NGOs. This includes platforms such as the Sterling Committee for Humanitarian Response, whose responsibility is to further cooperation among aid agencies.

Furthermore, NGOs have become advocates of international reforms preaching the message gotten from field to other players of international politics. The International Federation of Red Cross Societies’ code of conduct governing impartiality and accountability in humanitarian operations has been widely subscribed to by key organisations.

Closely related to that, Amnesty International monitors human rights abuses in the states and puts pressure on the state to turn over a new leaf, while Transparency International monitors the socio-economic and political activities in states. It rates state annually from the most corrupt to the least corrupt. This rating goes a long way to determine investments made by transnational corporations in various countries.

While the Bretton woods institutions spin the economic wheel of global governance, Duffield asserted that the present liberal system of global governance dashed the expectations of many who following the end of the cold war expected the United Nation (UN) to evolve into a global government. Rather than that happening, the UN remains an important actor in the emerging global governance.

As an organisation of all nation states, the UN article 71 empowers its organ the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to ‘make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organisations which are concerned with matters within its competence’’. Similarly, in 11 paragraphs of principle in ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV), NGOs that seek consultative status in world affairs must have embrace goals within the UN economic and social scope.

It further requires submission of data on the NGO budget and source of funds (Weiss and Gordenker; 1996, 21-22). These provisions enables the UN to play a coordinating role in the emerging system to ensure that non-state actors imbibe and work within the common guiding principles of nation-states enshrined in the charter of the world body.

Closely related to the framework of ECOSOC, the UN Department of Public Information maintains a check on the information dissemination of NGOs. (Ibid; 1996, 23) These trends show the importance the UN on behalf of member states attach to network and alliance formation between NGOs and other non-state actors.

In practical situations, UN foster cooperation with NGOs base on NGO community based approach which effectively bridges the gap between relief and development. A case in point is the formation of Partners in Action (Par in Ac) by the UNHCR and ICVA to increase the capacity of responding to global refugee crisis and internally displaced persons.(ibid; 1996, 29)

To direct global policy towards eradiating the world problems, the UN set a Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. The MDGs have become the policy thrust for most countries of the Southern hemisphere.

Alongside the aforementioned linkages between the various states and non-state actors to combat global crises is the role played private security companies. Duffield asserts that a cordial understanding between the military and civilian exist in global governance. Regular state military are used to police agreed ceasefire and create conduit for aid providers.

During intervention when state military is not provided, private security companies are contracted to provide military advice and security for aid workers. Duffield sites an example with when the US based Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) was contracted to provide military service to the Croatian government in 1994 under the Democracy Transition Assistance Programme, due to UN arms embargo on Croatia.

In summation of the various forms and relations among state and non-state actors, it is evident that sovereign states are gradually losing their competence to provide security and development in the new system. However, they have adapted themselves as partners in progress with non-state actors who now provide innovative forms of mobilisation, intervention and systems of material reward in the interests of global governance. (Duffield; 2002 77)

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Process of Global Governance

Base on its definition, global governance is the process of governance which involves state and non state actors working through formal and informal ways to find solutions to the problems of development and security that is beyond the capacity of any individual public or private actor. Interdependent networks of action are formed in the process between all actors from the state level to the regional, continental and global plane.

James Rosenau captures this as the degree which authority is formally established to the degree it flows in horizontal and vertical order. (Sending and Neumann; 2006) Hence the variety of actors such as governments, transnational corporations, NGOs and IGOs involve in the process is of major interest.

The working arrangement shows that the result of the erosion of state power and the proliferation of NGOs and other actors resulted in the state losing its principal control of governing activities within or across its territories and adapted to the emergent system as a mediator to legitimise the powers of the new actors before its citizens. (Sending and Neumann:2006,655)

To assert sovereignty, the bedrock of government, states enact laws to dictate how the country is governed, while global governance replaces law with tactics. Tactics are used to enforce compliance from individuals, groups and the state as a whole (Sending and Neumann: 2006, 656). The conditions set by the Bretton Woods institution to dictate how states run their economy is a strong example of using means rather than laws to achieve set objectives. Sending and Neumann use the Graham Burchell work quoted below to drive home the point;

‘‘offering’’ individuals and collectivities active involvement in action to resolve the kind of issues hitherto held to be the responsibility of authorized governmental agencies. However, the price of this involvement is that they must assume active responsibility for these activities, both for carrying them out and, of course, for their outcomes, and in so doing they are required to conduct t


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