New Modes of Pluralist Global Governance

62 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2013 Last revised: 29 Apr 2013

Grainne De Burca

New York University (NYU) - Law School

Robert O. Keohane

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Charles F. Sabel

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: February 26, 2013

Abstract

This paper describes three modes of pluralist global governance. Mode One refers to the creation and proliferation of comprehensive, integrated international regimes on a variety of issues. Mode Two describes the emergence of diverse forms and sites of cross-national decision making by multiple actors, public and private as well as local, regional and global, forming governance networks and “regime complexes,” including the orchestration of new forms of authority by international actors and organizations. Mode Three, which is the main focus of the paper, describes the gradual institutionalization of practices involving continual updating and revision, open participation, an agreed understanding of goals and practices, and monitoring, including peer review. We call this third mode Global Experimentalist Governance.

Experimentalist Governance arises in situations of complex interdependence and pervasive uncertainty about causal relationships. Its practice is illustrated in the paper by three examples: the arrangements devised to protect dolphins from being killed by tuna fishing practices; the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Montreal Protocol on the Ozone Layer. Experimentalist Governance tends to appear on issues for which governments cannot formulate and enforce comprehensive sets of rules, but which do not involve fundamental disagreements or high politics, and in which civil society is active. The paper shows that instances of Experimentalist Governance are already evident in various global arenas and issue areas, and argues that their significance seems likely to grow.

Suggested Citation

De Burca, Grainne and Keohane, Robert O. and Sabel, Charles F., New Modes of Pluralist Global Governance (February 26, 2013). New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 45, No. 1, 2013; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 13-08; Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No. 448. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2225603

Grainne De Burca (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Law School ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Robert O. Keohane

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Charles F. Sabel

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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