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12 Global Governance 233 (2006)
Enhancing Global Governance through Regional Integration

handle is hein.journals/glogo12 and id is 243 raw text is: Global Governance 12 (2006), 233-240

Enhancing Global Governance
Through Regional Integration
Ramesh Thakur and Luk Van Langenhove
lobal governance-governance for the world without world govern-
ment-refers to cooperative problem-solving arrangements on a
global plane.1 These may be rules (laws, norms, codes of behavior)
as well as constituted institutions and practices (formal and informal) to
manage collective affairs by a variety of actors (state authorities, intergov-
ernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, private sector
entities). Global governance thus refers to the complex of formal and infor-
mal institutions, mechanisms, relationships, and processes between and
among states, markets, citizens, and organizations-both intergovernmental
and nongovernmental-through which collective interests are articulated,
rights and obligations are established, and differences are mediated.2
Such global governance faces a fundamental paradox. The policy
authority for tackling global problems and mobilizing the necessary re-
sources is vested primarily at the country level, in states, while the source
and scale of the problems and potential solutions to them are transnational,
regional, and global. One result of this situation is that states have the
capacity to disable decisionmaking and policy implementation by global
bodies like the United Nations (UN), but they generally lack the vision and
will to empower and enable global problem solving on issues such as envi-
ronmental degradation, human trafficking, terrorism, and nuclear weapons.
Could regionalization, by inserting an additional level of governance
between the state and the world, provide a satisfactory resolution of this
paradox? What are the implications of regionalism and interregionalism for
global governance and world order? Do these developments herald a shift
from a world order based on sovereign states toward one based on regions?
Where does the UN enter into such a picture?
Today's world needs global governance, but most people fear the idea
of a centralized, all-powerful world government. Thus, the goal of most
contemporary proponents of global governance is the creation not of a

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