Globalisation and Governance: The Challenge of Planetary Public Regulation
Globalisation is not a new phenomenon, but it has now attained unprecedented amplitude, manifested particularly in economic and financial domains. At the same time it is asymetric rather than universal. Deep inequalities are a consequence, accompanied by a major challenge: governance in a context of interdependence.
The inequalities are particularly gripping, says Valaskakis. For not only do we have a divergence between rich and poor that is all the more shocking given the general level of opulence, but also a growing disparity between those who are able to participate in the system and those who are excluded. These extremes are inducing a dangerous fracture.
It is happening amid a sense that we are powerlessness to manage interdependence, reflected, for example, in the planetary ecosystem and global cyberspace.
The author has nonetheless sketched three scenarios to illustrate possible modes of regulation:
- The first of these seems most probable today. It is characterized by the decline of traditional regulatory structures maintained by the state, the rise of transnational, stateless enterprises and the development of a merciless competitive rivalry which must be suicidal in the end.
- The second would be characterized by the creation of mechanisms and institutions of governance on a planetary scale. But, observes the author, intergovernmental institutions form a mosaic of little coherence, paralyzed from the inside.
- The third scenario would be characterized by the adoption of governance systems at the regional (supra-national) level, on an appropriate economic and social scale (and with the reservation that those regions endow themselves with a minimum of protection against external aggression).
This third scenario is the one which permits the best reconciliation of the desirable and the possible. The European Union could put it in place and thus prefigure the creation of regional political spaces, which would then negociate a new planetary order among themselves. Nothing is yet in play, though; everything remains to be done.