Two Global Challenges to Global Governance

Two Global Challenges to Global Governance

This article aims at clarifying the rather generic notion of global governance, by keeping its meaning as a problem from its normative usage as a project. Further, priorities should be recognized and policy issues reordered according to their relevance. The current debate easily forgets about two threats, both poisoned remnants of modernity: only nuclear weapons and climate change deserve the name of global challenges, in as much as they can hit everybody on earth and can be addressed only by universal cooperation. They challenge politics to take over an additional role, that is to become politics for the future, for the future generations’ survival under decent conditions. Because of their severity they can motivate political actors to do so in a much more compelling way than the usual array of ‘global’ concerns. There cannot be any global governance without a strategy as to how to address the two global challenges.

Policy Implications

  • Stop using ‘global governance’ as a container for undifferentiated issues of large concern
  • Rethink politics as a whole, politics-as-usual is not adequate to our post-modern time
  • To reorder the problems of global governance, recognize the primacy of the two-only global (and lethal) challenges, the existence of nuclear weapons and man-made climate change
  • Promote a learning process in which the concern for future generations and global commons becomes a new motivation for political action
  • See the real dangers in scientific terms, do not indulge in catastrophism, and do not think of world government as the only safe solution
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