Intelligence Council is pleased to release
Global Governance 2025: At a Critical Juncture. The report, produced
in conjunction with the European Union’s Institute for Security
Studies, is a follow-on to the NIC’s 2008 Global Trends 2025 study.
Global Governance 2025 provides an informal contribution to an important
international debate on the way forward for global, regional, and bilateral
institutions and frameworks to meet emerging challenges such as climate
change, resource management, international migration flows, and new
technologies. While not policy prescriptive, the report shares a strong
belief that global challenges will require global solutions. The report’s
primary purpose is to help policymakers in the US and abroad to chart
a course for effective management of international problems. In addition,
we hope that it will stimulate a broad-ranging debate among academic
and nongovernmental experts.
United States’ National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the European
Union’s Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) have joined forces
to produce this assessment of the long-term prospects for global governance
frameworks. This exercise builds on the experience of the two institutions
in identifying the key trends shaping the future international system.
Since the mid 1990s, the NIC has produced four editions of its landmark
Global Trends report. The most recent one,
Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, published
in late 2008, noted that momentous change was ahead, with the gap between
increasing disorder and weakening governance structures widening. The
EUISS produced the first EU-level report on the factors affecting the
evolution of the international system in 2006, The New Global
Puzzle. What World for the EU in 2025? The report stressed
that a multipolar system is emerging and that matching the new distribution
of power with new rules and institutions will be critical to preserving
international peace and stability.
Global governance—the collective management of common problems at
the international level—is at a critical juncture. Although global governance
institutions have racked up many successes since their development after
the Second World War, the growing number of issues on the international
agenda, and their complexity, is outpacing the ability of international
organizations and national governments to cope.
With the emergence of rapid globalization, the risks to the international
system have grown to the extent that formerly localized threats are
no longer locally containable but are now potentially dangerous to global
security and stability. At the beginning of the century, threats such
as ethnic conflicts, infectious diseases, and terrorism as well as a
new generation of global challenges including climate change, energy
security, food and water scarcity, international migration flows, and
new technologies are increasingly taking center stage.
Three effects of rapid globalization are driving demands for more
effective global governance. Interdependence
has been a feature of economic globalization for many years, but
the rise of China, India, Brazil, and other fast-growing economies has
taken economic interdependence to a new level. The multiple links among
climate change and resources issues; the economic crisis; and state
fragility—“hubs” of risks for the future—illustrate the
interconnected nature of the challenges on
the international agenda today. Many of the issues cited above involve
interwoven domestic and foreign challenges.
Domestic politics creates tight constraints on international cooperation
and reduces the scope for compromise.
The shift to a multipolar world is complicating
the prospects for effective global governance over the next 10 years.
The expanding economic clout of emerging powers increases their political
influence well beyond their borders. Power is not only shifting from
established powers to rising countries and, to some extent, the developing
world, but also toward nonstate actors. Diverse perspectives and suspicions
about global governance, which is seen as a Western concept, will add
to the difficulties of effectively mastering the growing number of challenges.