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Can the World Be Governed?

Possibilities for Effective Multilateralism

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Can the World Be Governed? Possibilities for Effective Multilateralism edited by Alan S. Alexandroff

Introduction | Alan S. Alexandroff

1. Incentive Compatibility and Global Governance: Existential Multilateralism, a Weakly Confederal World, and Hegemony | Arthur A. Stein

2. A Grand Coalition and International Governance | Richard Rosecrance

3. America and teh Reform of Global Institutions | G. John Ikenberry

4. Two Challenges to Institutionalism | Daniel W. Drezner

5. Insternational Institutions and Collective Authorization in the Use of Force | James D. Fearon

6. Multilateralism on Trial: From the 2005 UN Summit to Today’s Reality | Ferry de Kerckhove

7. Facing the Global Problems of Development | Paul Collier

8. Can the Trading System Be Governed? Institutional Implications of the WTO’s Suspended Animation | Robert Wolfe

9. Slipping into Obscurity: Crisis and Institutional Reform at the IMF | Eric Helleiner and Bessma Momani

10. A Comment on the Effective Possibilities of Multilateralism | Patricia Goff

Conclusion | Alan S. Alexandroff



Alan S. Alexandroff is research director for the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto. He has taught international trade and politics, conflict management, and dispute resolution at a number of North American institutions, including Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario), McGill University, and the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as at the University of Toronto. His research and writing interests include trade, investment, and trade policy in North America; the multilateral trading system; Chinas accession to the World Trade Organization and its integration into the global economy; and conflict management in the international system, including the reform of global governance. Dr. Alexandroff is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. His most recent publication is Trends in World Trade: Essays in Honor of Sylvia Ostry (2007), for which he served as editor and contributor.

Paul Collier is professor of economics and director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. From 1998 to 2003 he was director of the Development Research Group of the World Bank. Professor Collier is a specialist in the political, economic, and developmental predicaments of poor countries. He holds a Distinction Award from Oxford University, and in 1988 he was awarded the Edgar Graham Book Prize for the co-written Labour and Poverty in Rural Tanzania. He is also the author of The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It (2007), in which he discusses the pros and cons of developmental aid to developing countries.

Ferry de Kerckhove is director general of the International Organizations Bureau, part of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the personal representative of the prime minister of Canada for la Francophonie, the international organization of French-speaking countries. He is responsible for the programs and specialized agencies of the UN covered by Canada’s missions in New York, Geneva, Paris, and Rome, and for relations between Canada, the Commonwealth, and la Francophonie. Born in Belgium, Mr. de Kerckhove has a B. Soc. Sc. (Honours) in economics and an M. A. in political science from the University of Ottawa and pursued Ph. D. studies at Université Laval in Quebec City. In 1973 he entered the Canadian foreign service, where he has had a distinguished career, having held posts as minister and deputy head of mission in Moscow, high commissioner to Pakistan, and ambassador to both Indonesia and East Timor. In September 2003, he joined the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa as diplomat in residence. He has published several papers on international relations and Islamic fundamentalism in specialized journals.

Daniel W. Drezner is associate professor of international politics at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He received his B. A. from Williams College and his Ph. D. in political science from Stanford University. He previously taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of All Politics Is Global (2007), U. S. Trade Policy (2006), and The Sanctions Paradox (1999). Professor Drezner has published articles in numerous scholarly journals as well as in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs. He has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University, and has held positions with the Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the US Treasury Department. He keeps a daily weblog at danieldrezner. com.

James D. Fearon is Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of political science at Stanford University. His research has focused on democracy and international disputes, explanations for interstate wars, and the causes of civil and especially ethnic violence. Representative publications include “Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States” (International Security, Spring 2004), “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War” (American Political Science Review, February 2003), and “Iraq's Civil War” (Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007). He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in 2002.

Patricia M. Goff is associate professor of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Her fields of expertise include international relations and international political economy. She is co-editor (with Kevin Dunn) of Identity and Global Politics: Empirical and Theoretical Elaborations (2004) and (with Paul Heinbecker) Irrelevant or Indispensable? The United Nations in the 21st Century (2005), and the author of Limits to Liberalization: Local Culture in a Global Marketplace (2007). Dr. Goff holds a Ph. D. in political science from Northwestern University, a Diplôme études approfondies in comparative politics from the University of Paris, an M. A. in French literature from McMaster University, and a B. A. (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario. She is associate editor of Behind the Headlines, a publication of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, and executive director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System.

Eric Helleiner is CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation) Chair in International Governance and professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo. He is also director of the M. A. program at Waterloo and of the Ph. D. program in global governance at both Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on North--South international financial relations. He is currently a Trudeau Foundation fellow and co-editor of the book series Cornell Studies in Money. He is the author of States and the Reemergence of Global Finance (1994), The Making of National Money (2003), and Towards North American Monetary Union? (2006), for which he received the Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian public policy. He is also co-editor of Nation-States and Money (1999) and Economic Nationalism in a Globalizing World (2005), and has received the Marvin Gelber Essay Prize in International Relations from the Canadian Institute for International Affairs.

G. John Ikenberry is Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is author of After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major War (2001), which won the 2002 Schroeder–Jervis Award presented by the American Political Science Association for the best book in international history and politics. He is currently writing a sequel to this book, Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American System. A collection of his essays, Liberal Order and Imperial Ambition: American Power and International Order, was published in 2006 by Polity Press. Among his many activities, Professor Ikenberry served as a member of an advisory group at the US State Department in 2003–04. He has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is also the reviewer of books on political and legal affairs for Foreign Affairs.

Bessma Momani is an assistant professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation. She specializes in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Middle East economic liberalization. Co–author of the textbook Twentieth–Century World History, she has published a monograph entitled IMF—Egyptian Debt Negotiations. Dr. Momani has also published articles about the IMF in Review of International Political Economy, Asian Affairs, Global Society, Journal of International Relations and Development, New Political Economy, Canadian Journal of Political Science, and Review of International Organizations. On economic liberalization in the Middle East, she has published in Middle East Review of International Affairs, World Economy, and World Economics.

Richard Rosecrance is adjunct professor in public policy at Harvard University, research professor of political science at the University of California, and senior fellow in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was formerly director of the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA. He has written widely on international topics. Among his publications are The Rise of the Trading State (1986), America's Economic Resurgence (1990), The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy (co–editor, 1993), The Rise of the Virtual State (1999), The Costs of Conflict (co-editor, 1999), The New Great Power Coalition (editor, 2001), and No More States? Globalization, Self-Determination, and Terrorism (co-editor, 2006). His next book is entitled Mergers among Nations. Professor Rosecrance served on the Policy Planning Council of the US State Department and has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, and many other fellowships. He has held regular university posts at Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley and visiting positions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Kings College (London), London School of Economics, European University Institute (Florence), and Australian National University.

Arthur A. Stein is professor of political science, University of California at Los Angeles. He has an A. B. from Cornell University, and a Ph. D. from Yale University. He has written widely on international economic and strategic affairs and is the author of The Nation at War (1980) and Why Nations Cooperate (1991), and co-editor of The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy (1993) and No More States? Globalization, National Self–Determination, and Terrorism (2006). He has served on the Policy Planning Staff of the US State Department and consulted for US defense and intelligence agencies. Professor Stein has also been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is currently a co–editor of the American Political Science Review.

Robert Wolfe is professor in the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), where he is director of the Master of Public Administration teaching program. He was a foreign service officer for many years, serving abroad in Bangladesh and in the Canadian delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co–operation and Development in Paris. Since joining Queen’s in 1995, he has published widely on Canadian trade policy and on the World Trade Organization. His most recent publications are “Decision–Making and Transparency in the ‘Medieval’ WTO” (Journal of International Economic Law), “See You in Geneva? Legal (Mis)Representations of the Trading System” (European Journal of International Relations), and a book entitled Process Matters: Sustainable Development and Domestic Trade Transparency (co–edited with Mark Halle, 2007).


In this book, leading international relations experts and practitioners examine through theory and case study the prospect for successful multilateral management of the global economy and international security. In the theory section contributors tackle the big questions: Why is there an apparent rising tide of calls for reform of current multilateral organizations and institutions? Why are there growing questions over the effectiveness of global governance? Is the reform of current organizations and institutions likely or possible? Case studies include the examination of difficulties facing global development, the challenges facing the IMF and the governance of global finance, the problems of the UN 2005 World Summit and its failed reform, and the WTO and the questions raised by the prolonged Doha Development Round.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation


``Can the World Be Governed? provides a valuable, if often quite basic, introduction to the issues confronting global governance. Its well-known contributors address a broad array of issues, from institutional creation to the relationship between multi- and unilateralism and the impact of national government structures on those of global governance. ... The empirical material provides clear illustrations of the complexities faced by actors seeking to bring better order to the chaos of international political action. ... Certainly a useful first reference for those looking to learn more about global governance, today and tomorrow. ''

- Laura Carsten, Millennium Journal of International Studies, 2011

``The twenty-first century appears to hold little promise for multilateralism, as the United States resists its constraints and dynamic powers such as Brazil and India complain of its inequities. This array of distinguished scholars argues powerfully and convincingly for a reformed multilateralism that reflects both American and global interests. ''

- Miles Kahler, University of California, San Diego

``Answering in the affirmative the question posed by the title of this useful and timely book--can the world be governed?--is the single most important challenge facing the human race. In the face of mega-threats like global warming and nuclear proliferation, the world must not only be able to govern itself, it must learn to do so effectively and soon. Alan Alexandroff has assembled some of the most disciplined, knowledgeable, and experienced minds to ponder both the problem and the solution. They have provided just the right combination of hard-headed analysis, bold vision, and pragmatic recommendations. A real service to a vital cause. ''

- Strobe Talbott, author of The Great Experiment