Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2009

Publication Citation

16 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 25 (2009)


Are there situations in which otherwise attractively complex, sub- and cross-national networks are unlikely to replace the hoary old Westphalian state? Perhaps, but whatever the answer, global governance as a discipline seems to have a hard time fully considering the question. One oft he problems with operationalizing global governance may be the simultaneous profligacy and poverty of the idea itself: its definitional overemphasis on change and consequent inattention to the state's capacity to reconstitute its core functions and thus to achieve a predictable continuity. As a result, for all the excellent work done under its name, global governance as a unifying concept may actually contribute very little, and be less than the sum of its parts. Thinking about limits is not necessarily skepticism about the processes that collectively constitute global governance, but a way to give more meaningful shape to ideas which, as yet, are as problematically defined as they are fashionable.

Operationalizing Global Governance, Symposium. Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington, Indiana, March 19-21, 2008