This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

  UNU Home           UNUP Home           Publications           Staff           Feedback           Search           Contacts           Disclaimer
Global Governance and the United Nations System
Edited by Volker Rittberger
The United Nations System in the Twenty-first Century

Global Governance and the United Nations System offers a wide-ranging analysis of changing world order at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It examines the progression from international to global governance, focusing on the fundamental change of actors, agendas, collective decision making, and the role of the United Nations system. Globalization does not only mean a change of relationship between governments and market forces. It also has important implications for the identities and activities of transnational social actors. International governance, the authors argue, faces three different challenges: the technological revolution; globalization; and the end of the Cold War, leading to jurisdictional, operational, incentive, and participatory gaps in governance which international governance systems cannot adequately cope with. In attempting to respond to these new problems international governance systems have engaged in a multifaceted move toward global governance, reacting to these challenges, in part, by transforming themselves.

The contributors to this volume discuss various aspects of this transformation, extrapolate its trends, and provide suggestions about possible forms of global governance. They address several key issues, such as the roles of states, intergovernmental organizations, the UN system, and non-state actors - market forces as well as civil society - in a future world order. Will they cooperate in global governance systems and, if so, how? To what extent will states still be able to attain their governance goals, providing security, protection, and social welfare? Are international institutions at the regional level more effective in providing security for the peoples of their respective regions? The authors also explore the changing nature and increasing salience of non-state actors such as NGOs and business corporations. They ask whether a democratic world republic is the best model of global governance and address the question of how social justice can be attained or furthered by a transition from international governance systems to a global system of governance.

[Back to book page]