University of Toronto US Politics Global Governance Research Paper

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University of Toronto

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 paper on the US politics 

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Introduction
The global system entered a new level in the 1990s. The US ruled supreme when the Soviet
Union collapsed and discredited alternatives to liberal capitalism. Attention turned to human
rights, international institutions, economic liberalization, and the promotion of democracy. The
concept of global governance started emerging as a perspective of international politics and a new
strategy to manage global affairs. In the context of the deregulation of policy sectors such as health,
trade, and climate, global governance seemed to be the sole path that could accommodate and take
integrated action upon diverse and conflicting interests”1. Scholars have thus, coined the term
“governance” to indicate the regulation of interdependent ties in the absence of extensive political
power, for instance in the global system. It is made up of the policies, institutions, norms,
initiatives, and procedures through which states and their people strive to usher more stability,
consistency, and ordinance to their responses to global problems 2. As such, I define global
governance a case of governance without a government. The concept’s instruments include
customary global law, treaties, formal organizations such as WTO and the UN, embedded norms,
and accustomed practices 3. While states and people alike have acknowledged the essence of global
governance, the world is attesting to the accelerating call to solve global problems more effectively
in the face of heightened interdependence. This has therefore brought about the debate concerning
whether global problems require global solutions through global governance. This article will
focus on the global problem of climate change to determine whether global problems require
global solutions through global governance. From the global governance perspective, climate

1

Matthew Stephen, "Emerging powers and emerging trends in global governance," Global
governance (2017): 483-502.
2
Wu Hongbo, "Global Governance and Global Rules for Development in the Post-2015 ERA," (2014).
3
Thomas Weiss and Ramesh Thakur, Global governance and the UN: an unfinished journey (Indiana
University Press, 2010).

2
change will be explored through lenses such as The UN Framework Convention, the 1997 Kyoto
Protocol, and 2015 COP21. These treaties demonstrate gradual strengthening with regards to
intergovernmental collaboration to curb global warming and climate change through the
implementation of political courses set forth under the terms of the treaties 4.
Thesis Statement
The central idea of this article is that global governance does not constitute a coherent
concept that would be an effective instrument for the development of solutions to global problems.
Like local and national governance, global governance is in the long run delineated by politics,
and the current political climate is not favorable for the advancement of global goals. Global
governance structures entered the limelight in the 1990s. Yet, despite this, climate change is still
the toughest and more intractable global problem that society has ever faced. This does not imply
that global governance has not made any progress. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
and the Paris Climate Agreement certainly demonstrate the inspirational progress that has been
made by global governance systems. However, the current progress does not sufficiently
demonstrate that global problems require global solutions through global governance.
By exploring George Martine and José Eustáquio Diniz Alves’ article on climate change
chaos, I identified structural analysis of multilateralism as one component that contributes to the
theoretical structure. Through this component, I was able to identify the structural limitations that
define current global governance systems. Furthermore, through Biermann, Pattberg, Van Asselt,
and Zelli’s idea of fragmented global governance structures, I identified three components that
contribute to the form of theoretical structure: synergistic fragmentation, cooperative

4

Ernani Contipelli, "Trump's Doctrine and Climate Change: New Challenges for Global
Governance," IndraStra Global 3, no. 5 (2017): 11.

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fragmentation, and conflictive fragmentation. Synergistic fragmentation exists when global
governance institutions include a majority of the states and provide for detailed and effective
general principles and norms that manage the set policies in well-defined yet significantly
integrated institutional positioning. Cooperative fragmentation exists when a global problem is
marked by loosely integrated different global structures and decision-making processes.
Furthermore, it is defined by an ambiguous relation between principles and norms of different
structures and when central institutions are not made up of all states that are important to the
mitigation of the global problem. On the other hand, conflictive fragmentation exists when global
problems are marked by hardly connected different structures, with conflicting sets of norms,
principles, and rules. These structures have varying membership and are powered by actor
coalitions that advan...


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