A Global Governance That Protects? Global governance and the defence of democracy A Think Tank 7 Contribution
Global governance emerged to deal with the gap between the plurality and diversity of states and the collective and transnational nature of increasingly complex global affairs.
The G7 played a key role in favouring the development of global governance. It was instrumental in pulling poor countries out of high indebtment, in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and in helping establish the Global Fund against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It was also a place for informal discussions that helped unlock some disputes between major powers, as in 1999 over the status of Kosovo after NATO’s intervention. Against this backdrop, the group’s current difficulties, in terms of both clarity on its role as well as strategy and ability to reach consensus, are testimony to the broader challenges posed to global governance.
The need for more effective global governance, and for a G7 able to play its role in that network, remains. Arguably, the gap between global challenges and global responses has even grown larger in the recent period. But by now, all should have realised that necessity is not enough. Slogans such as “we need global responses to global challenges” and “no power, including the major one, can address the current threats and risks alone” may be true. But they are not sufficient to solve the issues that impede collective action, and are likely not to sustain states’ willingness for international cooperation. Actually, interdependence itself has shifted from being a key driver of closer cooperation to being weaponised into great power competition. On the contrary, the many flaws of global governance and lack of states’ appetite to cooperate seem to steer powers in a different direction.