include illicit organizations motivated by political grievance (e.g., al-Qaeda) or simple greed (e.g.,Russian crime syndicates). But non-state actors also include more benign forces, such as humanitarianNGOs and civil society actors, philanthropic institutions like the Gates Foundation, and “super-empowered” individuals like Bono, all clamoring for entrée into decision-making forums that havetraditionally been the purview of states alone. How to integrate these new stakeholders into multilateraldeliberations remains a major challenge for global governance.
Evolving norms of sovereignty and intervention.
There is growing recognition that each state owescertain fundamental obligations to its own citizens and to wider international society. Theseresponsibilities include an obligation not to commit atrocities against one’s own population; aprohibition against sponsoring or providing a safe haven to transnational terrorist groups; and a duty toprevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yet the effort to make these new normsoperational and enforceable remains a Herculean challenge.
The spread of regional and sub-regional organizations.
Although the UN Charter of 1945 explicitlyendorsed regional organizations, such bodies truly began to flower only with the end of the Cold War,both as complements to universal-membership organizations and as substitutes for them. The task forU.S. policymakers is to assess the comparative advantages of different institutions and encourage a judicious division of labor (between, say, the UN and the African Union) that ensures effective burdensharing, rather than unwarranted “burden shifting.”
The increasing prominence of transnational government networks
. In past decades, the process of multilateral cooperation and rule-making tended to be hierarchical and centralized, reflecting formalnegotiations among high-level national delegations. In the twenty-first century, multilateral cooperationfrequently unfolds in a distributed and networked manner, through the collaboration of transnationalnetworks of government officials from regulatory agencies, executives, legislatures, and courts.
A growing reliance on coalitions of the willing
. A recent trend in global governance has been to relyless on large, formal organizations (like the UN), which are vulnerable to paralysis and inaction, thanon narrower collective action among like-minded countries, as in the Proliferation Security Initiative(PSI). An ongoing dilemma for U.S. policymakers will be to exploit the flexibility of such coalitionswithout undercutting formal, large-membership organizations whose technical expertise, legitimacy,and resources the United States will need over the long haul.Despite these tremendous changes in the context, content, and conduct of international relations, there hasbeen no “act of creation” analogous to the flurry of institution building that occurred in the 1940s and early1950s. Indeed, many of the central institutions of global governance, such as the UN, the North AtlanticTreaty Organization (NATO), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), remainsubstantially unchanged since the days of Roosevelt, Truman, Churchill, and Stalin. Recent efforts toreform the architecture of global governance, including at the UN High Level Summit of September 2005,have produced at best incremental change, as states disagree over how to reallocate power and authority inexisting organizations and bring old rules in line with new realities. The world community thus makes dowith creaky institutional machinery that is increasingly obsolete, ineffective, and unrepresentative, andwhich makes few allowances for the potential role of the private sector and global civil society in shapingand addressing the global agenda. As hard as it is to create rules of global governance, it is even harder tore-write them when institutions already exist.The United States and its partners have a critical window of opportunity to update the architecture of international cooperation to reflect today’s turbulent world. The creation of a more effective framework forglobal governance will depend on a clear and common understanding among the world’s major nations of the new dynamics and forces at play in world politics, and their recognition that there can be no one-size-