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19 04.2012 Science for everyone Co cover

GOVERNANCE, PLURAL FUTURE The economic and financial crisis and the revolution in the contemporary social model have imposed the advent of a new era that is seeing the advance of “unexpected” players, who are more and more influential in the global geopolitical balance. As the power of national governments and supranational organizations seems to weaken, new players are emerging to lead the “soft power” of relations and international developments: they are corporations, non-governmental organizations, and social media that give voice to millions of citizens. Here are the new political, economic, and social factors that will be able to impose their vision on the planet.

Ed editorial

Looking for a new world government by Vittorio Emanuele Parsi

Faced with the prospects of change evoked in this issue of Oxygen, the real question we should be trying to answer is not “Who will rule the world,” but if someone will actually be able to do so. The idea that the international system nevertheless remains subject to governance, even though it is articulated by the presence of more and more actors, and that there is simply not a situation of anarchy (understood to be the mere absence of a government, as the old realist theory of international relations has always sustained), perhaps conceals an excess of confidence in the role that rationality or simply coherence plays in human events. It is precisely the qualitative plurality of the nature of the actors that makes it extremely difficult to hypothesize the continuity of consistent forms of governance of

the international system. In the past, when the States were almost exclusive actors in the international arena, it was the difference between them in terms of capacity (expressed in power and determined by military, economic, and cultural relations) that sanctioned the de facto government of the world. This was the logic of the concert of great powers, whose last pale heir is represented by the international summits of the G8 and its multiples. In recent years, in fact, in the international system the principle “the one who has the most” has more say in their government – and above all, is more likely to have his/her voice heard – has been applied in unusual, and perhaps even questionable, forms but has never really been abandoned. Especially during the Cold War years,

the non-military dimensions of power gained increasing importance without ever coming to replace the former or render them irrelevant. Almost a quarter of a century since the end of the Cold War, having set aside the illusion of an apparent absolute victory, due to a lack of challengers, the same values embodied by Western liberalism summarized in the “democracy and the market” dyad have regained their “competitive” or “ideological” dimension, or that is to say, represent both a proposal for a social organization and a tool through which to also change reality and not the exhaustive container of reality. Subjects of a different nature, which embody or are inspired by different ideals but which nonetheless continually interact with respect to one another. What

makes the situation and the prospect of governance so complicated today, more complicated than in the past, is not so much the new qualitative articulation of the actors (States, multinational corporations, international institutions, the media, NGOs, criminal and terrorist groups, individuals…) or the fact that the interests represented have increased and have significantly diversified. The biggest problem, the one that is truly the most intricate, consists of the non-convergence toward a shared framework, a set of values that is able to attract a general consensus on the part of such different actors, and therefore able to “prioritize” the interests on the basis of priorities minimally accepted by all or most (and strongest). By now we have left the phase when it was believed that “liberal values”


Oxygen n. 19 - Governance, futuro plurale  

La crisi economico-finanziaria e la rivoluzione nel modello sociale contemporaneo hanno imposto l’avvento di una nuova era che vede avanzare...

Oxygen n. 19 - Governance, futuro plurale  

La crisi economico-finanziaria e la rivoluzione nel modello sociale contemporaneo hanno imposto l’avvento di una nuova era che vede avanzare...