Global Governance: The Strategy of Governance, Social Welfare, and Exclusion?


Foucault once described governmentality in the sense of power not only in terms of hierarchical, top-down power of the state. He widens our understanding of power to also include the forms of social control in disciplinary institutions (schools, hospitals, psychiatric institutions, etc.), as well as the forms of knowledge. Power can manifest itself positively by producing knowledge and certain discourses that get internalised by individuals and guide the behaviour of populations. This leads to more efficient forms of social control, as knowledge enables individuals to govern themselves. In recent years this sense has extended into the global arena.

Global governance as a term has been bandied about by academics and policy makers in think tanks across the world for years. Global Governance or world governance is a movement towards political integration of transnational actors aimed at negotiating responses to problems that affect more than one state or region. It tends to involve institutionalization. These institutions of global governance – the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the World Bank, etc. – tend to have limited or demarcated power to enforce compliance. The modern question of world governance exists in the context of globalization and globalizing regimes of power: politically, economically and culturally. In response to the acceleration of interdependence on a worldwide scale, both between human societies and between humankind and the biosphere, the term “global governance” may also be used to name the process of designating laws, rules, or regulations intended for a global scale.

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