Global Governance: Two Concepts in Search of a Theory
In recent years, cross-‐disciplinary research has grown, interdisciplinary programs have flourished and more and more political theorists are dealing with the idea of global governance. The paper presents a critical view of this concept and reviews the general debate on it paying particular attention to the link between governance and democratic theory. In the first part, the idea of global governance is deconstruct on two levels. First, it is shown the controversial meaning of the term ‘global’. The interpretation of this concept depends on different stands about the nature of the global scene. Second, it is shown that the explanatory power of the idea of “global” is conditional upon the rapid historical and geopolitical changes that are occurring in the global context in which we live. The unstable patterns that characterize the current international arena – the rise of new powerful economies like China, India or Brazil, the objective loss of power of the West, the instability patterns that we observe in Africa, South-‐America and some parts of Asia, all these things contribute to make one suspicious of any attempt to define a precise descriptive structure of the global scene. In the second part, the analysis is devoted to the notion of governance as such. Drawing on the complex difference between governance and government, it is first argued that government and governance mechanisms are closely intertwined in a variety of different cases at the international level and then proposed a shift from governance to governance(s) for future scholarship. Theoretically speaking, it is argued, it appears more useful to focus on particular forms of governances, for example corporate international governance, EU governance, health governance trying to avoid the usage of the word ‘global’ with its very ambiguous meaning.