In today’s globalizing world, a wide range of human activities and interests spill across national borders. Trade agreements, arms control, greenhouse gas reduction, Internet protocol standardization, and many other areas promise massive mutual gains from international coordination and cooperation via institutionalized rules of the game.
Building governing institutions and enforcing norms and rules is the traditional province of government. But in a world of nation states which zealously guard their sovereignty, “government” softens into “governance”. In the absence of a single global rules-maker, a plethora of global governance organizations (GGOS) has emerged instead. To differing degrees, GGOs have been created by, and are responsive to, national governments, private sector companies, ngo’s and individual citizens.
Most countries in the world participate in GGOs as rules-takers, deferring to the power of the United States and a few other major powers to make the rules. But China is a different case. Throughout human history, China was the world’s most populous country. Before the Industrial Revolution, China had the world’s largest economy as well. Now, as it acquires industrial technology, China is reclaiming that economic ranking, and seeks a commensurate seat at the tables where global rules are made. How will China participate in, and transform, the world of global governance?
This course explores that question, by exploring a half dozen particular cases. Students will form teams, each focusing on a particular governance area. We will surely deal with trade (WTO), exchange rates (IMF, OECD, G20), intellectual property (WIPO) and climate change.
Field WorkCountry: Singapore