'The Momentous Gravity of the State of Things Now Obtaining': Annoying Westphalian Objections to the Idea of Global Governance
Timothy William Waters
Indiana University - Maurer School of Law; Max Planck Institute (International Law)
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 16, pp. 25-58, 2009
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper
Are there situations in which otherwise attractively complex, sub- and transnational networks are unlikely to replace the hoary old Westphalian state? Perhaps, but whatever the answer, global governance as a discipline seems to have a hard time fully considering the question. One of the problems with operationalizing global governance may be the simultaneous profligacy and poverty of the idea itself: its definitional overemphasis on change and consequent inattention to the state’s capacity to reconstitute its core functions and thus achieve a predictable continuity. As a result, for all the excellent work done under its name, global governance as a unifying concept may actually contribute very little, and be less than the sum of its parts. Thinking about limits is not necessarily skepticism about the processes that collectively constitute global governance, but a way to give more meaningful shape to ideas which, as yet, are as problematically defined as they are fashionable.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: global governance, globalization, state, state system, Westphalia
JEL Classification: F02, B00, B15, D90, E60, H00, K33, K10, N40, O10, O30, O00Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 11, 2012
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