Global Governance and the International Politics of Crisis, 1960-75
The most significant changes to the practices and institutions of global governance have historically been in response to crises. The breakdown of international order in the 1930s led to the creation of the UN system; the present global financial crisis and recession, in a similar fashion, has produced calls for another remaking of inherited modes of global governance. This paper examines the relationship between the international politics of crisis and the generation of new forms of knowledge and new practices concerning global governance. To that end, it will focus on the crisis faced by the post-war institutions of governance in the late 1960s and early 1970s, brought about by the breakdown of financial order, economic recession, lagging development in the global South, growing concern about the environment, and geopolitical tensions caused by shifts in the balance of political, military and economic power. It addresses the responses advocated to these developments by policymakers and the relevant epistemic communities, and the responses that were implemented, from the creation of great power co-ordination mechanisms like G7 (founded in 1975) to the inception of global networks of environmental activists. In conclusion, the paper will consider the lessons this phase in the development of contemporary modes of global governance might have for the present crisis.
Western Political Science Association Proceedings