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Disruption in Global Economic Governance

Kurt Bayer

Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1-3, 25-38

Abstract: This article is concerned with problems and with the future of global economic governance. It does not deal with political, military or security questions, even though many of those are closely related to economic conditions. Recent decades have seen an increasing deterioration in the multilateral system of economic cooperation: its long-term dominant movers, the OECD (“Western†) countries, have not allowed the system to adjust adequately to the economic rise of emerging and developing countries; globalization, based on “Western†economic thinking and the concomitant unleashing of the forces of cross-border financial flows, has contributed (together with technological innovations) to gross inequalities and social disruption within countries; and the environmental damages caused by the global order (trade and investment) have led to massive degradation and climate change which threatens our way of life. Recent actions by the US president and nationalist tendencies in large parts of the world have further eroded the necessary spirit of cooperation. This article argues that in order to provide an adequate supply of global public goods, a regime of global rules is worth “saving,†if with both restructured content and institutional adjustments. Today, however, political developments do not favor a systematic re-ordering of global institutions. A multi-polar world will at best permit smaller cooperative agreements on individual issues by “coalitions of the willing,†based on countries’ and regions’ respective strategic interests. Plurilateralism, instead of multilateralism, will be the most likely, but more chaotic, organizing principle in the foreseeable future. Provision of global public goods, and the interests of smaller and weaker countries, and with that world stability, will suffer.

Keywords: Multilateralism; international institutions; globalization; nationalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1177/0974910119851604

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