Gridlock: the growing breakdown of global cooperation

CLIMATE CHANGE(…..) A Gridlock exists across a wide range of different areas in global governance today, from security arrangements to trade and finance. This dynamic is, arguably, most evident in the realm of climate change. The diffusion of industrial production across the world, a process enabled by the economic globalization, has created a situation in which the basic consumption of each individual directly affects the life chances of every other individual on planet, as well as life chances of future generations. This is  a powerful, entirely new form of global interdependence. Bluntly put, future of our civilization depends on our ability to cooperate across borders. And yet, despite twenty years of multilateral negotiations under the UN, a global deal on climate change mitigation or adaptation remains a elusive, with the differences between the developed countries, which have caused problem, and developing countries, which will drive future emissions, forming core barrier to progress. Unless we really overcome gridlock in climate negotiations, as other issue areas, we will be unable to continue to enjoy the peace and prosperity we have inherited from the postwar order. There are, of course, several forces might work against gridlock. These include the potential of social movements to uproot existing political constraints, catalysed by IT innovation and use of associated technology for coordination across borders; capacity of existing institutions, adapt and accommodate factors such as emerging multipolarity (the shift from G-5/7 to G-20 is one example); and efforts at institutional reform which seek to alter the organizational structure of a global governance (for example, proposals to reform the Security Council or to establish a financial transaction tax). Whether there is the political will or leadership to move beyond gridlock remains a pressing question. Social movements find it difficult to convert protests into a consolidated institutional change. At the same time, political leadership of the great power blocs appears dogged by national concerns: Washington is sharply divided, Europe is preoccupied with the future of Euro and China is absorbed by challenge of sustaining economic growth as prime vehicle of domestic legitimacy. Against this background, the further deepening of gridlock and continuing failure to address global collective action problems appears likely. In the aftermath of the Second World War the institutional breakthroughs that occurred provided momentum for decades of sustained economic growth and geopolitical stability sufficient for transformation of world economy, a shift from Cold War to a multipolar order, rise of new communication and network societies. However, what worked then does not work as well now, as gridlock freezes problem solving capacity in global governance. The search for a politics beyond gridlock, in theory and in practice, is a significant task, nationally + globally, if global governance is to be once again effective and fit for purpose.



Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional


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