Rethinking global governance? Complexity, authority, power, change

Thomas G. Weiss*, Rorden Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Global governance remains notoriously slippery. While the term arose to describe change in the late twentieth century, its association with that specific moment has frozen it in time and deprived it of analytical utility. It has become an alternative moniker for international organizations, a descriptor for an increasingly crowded world stage, a call to arms, an attempt to control the pernicious aspects of globalization, and a synonym for world government. This article aims not to advance a theory of global governance but to highlight where core questions encourage us to go. A more rigorous conception should help us understand the nature of the contemporary phenomenon as well as look "backwards" and "forwards." Such an investigation should provide historical insights as well as prescriptive elements to understand the kind of world order that we ought to be seeking and encourage us to investigate how that global governance could be realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


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