Global Governance as the Friendly Face of Unaccountable Power

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Whitman, Jim (2002) Global Governance as the Friendly Face of Unaccountable Power , Security Dialogue 33(1): .

Much of the global governance literature is devoted to the processes and outcomes of globalizing forces for the accrual of power by non-authoritative actors. The emphasis on process at the expense of detailed considerations of agency leaves open considerable questions about democratic accountability for the extension and consolidation of a summative global governance. It is not clear that the kinds of negotiated re-configurations of state and non-state actors and their roles that are possible within states can be ‘scaled up’ to produce a global governance in which public policy and the larger determinants of political and economic life will be open to wide scrutiny or competing claims. The darker possibilities open to a new array of non-authoritative but effective actors are examined, together with a consideration of the prospects for the delivery of global public goods under global governance so constituted. ‘Unaccountable’ is also frequently self-serving, which can only diminish our ability to organize concerted, coherent initiatives needed to deal with the global issues that now beset humanity.