Page 11

11  GOLD MERCURY INTERNATIONAL Global Governance: Towards a New Ethic



Undermining of formal institutions by growing importance of informal gathering of states

This is linked to the inequality of representation within international institutions which can force new coalitions to gather as a substitute or even in retaliation. In addition, there are new coalitions built on like-minded thinking, such as that between Canada and the Nordic countries. Another source undermining the institutions are gatherings of NGOs and civil society who by virtue of having more information and political will become more powerful to enact change than formal institutions.

Lack of engagement with civil society

Not enough attention is currently given to the vocal claims of civil society groups that represent and speak for particular cultural and transnational constituencies. International institutions need to be open and willing to engage with ‘outsiders’. This will also make them more responsive to the changing goals of global society and encourage them to recognise the importance of flexibility and transparency.

Inability to impose sanctions

This can be both a cause and a consequence of a lack of accountability and legitimacy and a failure to coordinate. Without the ability to impose costs to failure of standards, the lofty ideals of global institutions will have no basis.

Despite these shortcomings, global governance institutions remain essential. Without them, it is difficult to incentivise other member states and actors to coordinate their behaviour in mutually beneficial ways. Without them, inequality would grow and hatred, desperation, envy and insecurity—things which have been at least partly kept at bay during the prosperous bubble of the last few decades—would implode. Given the above list of woes in international institutions the conundrum that remains is this: global governance institutions need our support even if they do not maximise our own interest and measure up to our high standards of legitimacy, transparency and justice. We have to start with what we have today and begin the task of embedding a global ethic and a sense of global citizenship in order to reform our institutions.

©2008-2009 Nicolas De Santis, Corporate Vision Strategists Ltd. All rights reserved

Global Governance: Towards A New Ethic  
Global Governance: Towards A New Ethic  

This paper proposes a holistic return to a dialogue of global ethics, values and morality to change behaviour within global leadership and t...