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The Global Governance System An early definition of global governance from the sphere of international relations referred to the “systems of rule at all levels of human activity - from the family to the international organization- in which the pursuit of goals through the exercise of control has transnational repercussions� (Rosenau, 1995: 13). In theory and practice it remains a complex phenomenon, encompassing myriad definitions across economics, politics, social studies, literature etc. Day to day we often refer to it haphazardly, hoping that by its very utterance a magic wand may be waved over a set of complex processes, helping to instill a sense of order and control in our minds. Formerly, a Westphalian order of states had provided the dominant political unit in the international system. Defined and precise national boundaries symbolised sovereignty and people were seen first and foremost as citizens. After World War II, the traumatised allied nations actively supported a formal institutionalist stance to prevent a repeat of disasters on a global scale by setting up the United Nations (as a replacement for the failed League of Nations), the IMF and World Bank. Furthermore, advances in weapons technology now introduced a fear of war between the great powers, and much effort was focused on disarmament and arms controls. The realisation dawned that there was more to be gained through cooperation and, at least at state level, there was a movement towards cooperative, collective action. In the thirty years after World War II there was a sense of extraordinary vision being deployed with the imagining of a better world. During the 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union marked the end of that particular period of history of bipolar (US and Soviet Union) balance of powers. The breakdown of state hegemony accompanied by growing activism of civil society, liberal market capitalism and the growth of information technology paved the way for a burgeoning transnationalism. States actively also invested in international institutions to pursue mutual goals; economies and businesses linked parts of the world through transnational trade and capital flows and communities gained increasing awareness of other societies and cultures through transport, migration and mass media. The constant contact with outsiders suddenly made the world a smaller place than ever, but arguably the centre of political power for most people remained the state.

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...