Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1541364
 


 



Asia's Role in Global Governance: World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative - Singapore Hearing


Kishore Mahbubani


Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Simon Chesterman


National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

January 22, 2010

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. LKYSPP10-002
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-09

Abstract:     
Asia has long been underrepresented in institutions of global governance. Recent challenges to those institutions have focused less on their legitimacy than on their effectiveness.

Such engagement reflects a changed approach to sovereignty. Once it was understood primarily as a defense against foreign intervention. The vast majority of Asian governments now understand that collective action does not erode, but instead protects sovereignty.
Barriers remain to Asia playing a greater role on the world stage, however. In particular, there is little appetite for true leadership from Asia: Asians want to grow and perpetuate the global system, not revolutionize or reset it.

In part this is due to interests, which are well-served by many aspects of the current system. But it is also connected to the Asian style of consensus and consultation.

The “Asian way” of policy-making can be seen in recent developments in security and development, in regional cooperation, in the relative openness of Asian institutions, and the advantages of sub-regional groupings.

The positive aspects of this approach to diplomacy and governance include respect for diversity, consensus-building over conflict, pragmatic approaches rather than lofty principles, and gradualism rather than abrupt change. The negative aspects can be that the desire to avoid confrontation prevents meaningful agreements being concluded in a reasonable timeframe, or that the appearance of consensus merely masks the true politics at work.

What might this mean in practice? A speculative list of issues in which Asia - or, more properly, Asians - might contribute to global solutions includes peace and security, climate change, energy governance, energy security, financial regulation, health, development assistance, regional markets, good governance, and social enterprises.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: global governance, Asia, sovereignty, Asian way, pragmatism, security, climate change, financial regulation, social enterprises, World Economic Forum, Davos

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Date posted: February 8, 2010 ; Last revised: April 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Mahbubani, Kishore and Chesterman, Simon, Asia's Role in Global Governance: World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative - Singapore Hearing (January 22, 2010). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. LKYSPP10-002; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1541364 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1541364

Contact Information

Kishore Mahbubani
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )
Singapore 117591
Singapore
Simon Chesterman (Contact Author)
National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )
469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore
HOME PAGE: http://law.nus.edu.sg
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