Global Trends 2013

Peace - Development - Environment

Tobias Debiel, Jochen Hippler, Michèle Roth, Cornelia Ulbert (ed.)
Translated by Hillary Crowe

Published by Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden (SEF), Bonn October 2012
96 pp, ISBN 978-3-927626-46-1, EUR 12.00

Since the last edition of Global Trends was published three years ago, the demands being made of global governance institutions have increased to such an extent that the system of international relations appears to be permanently under pressure. A series of global shocks – the world financial crisis and the food crisis being two examples – have thrown the gaps in global governance and the repeated failures of the climate process into sharp relief.

At global level, a climate of distrust of the United Nations (UN), fuelled over many decades, and the erosion of its problem-solving capacities through the systematic use of blocking tactics have done much to undermine institutionalised multilateralism. Instead, attempts are being made to alleviate the pressure in the system through a move towards sectoral – in other words, thematically specialised – forums and a multitude of alternative forms of global governance outside the established multilateral institutions.

The resulting fragmentation of global policy-making, combined with a proliferation of international and transnational forums, is creating new complexities in international relations and is tending to reinforce the inequalities between actors. At the same time, the increasing multipolarity in the system offers opportunities to forge new alliances which no longer (have to) abide by the rules of conventional power politics.
In this scenario, the state's role appears to be undergoing a process of long-term change, reflected also in an altered understanding of what sovereignty means, both internally and externally. Social protest movements are increasingly objecting to the lack of provision of national and global public goods by governments and their failure to control dominant market forces. The burgeoning middle classes in many developing countries are a major force to be reckoned with here. Technological advances such as the Internet offer new opportunities for political participation, transnational networking and public access.

The major global governance gaps mentioned at the start clearly show that the Western   economic model and concept of progress cannot provide a frame of reference for the wider world – and that it is the major industrialized nations, first and foremost, which need to   change course. The finite nature of our natural resources, and the limited and in some cases almost exhausted carrying capacity of the Earth's ecosystems, including the atmosphere, mean that a "business as usual" approach is not an option. As a result, a broad debate has begun at the national and the international level about how prosperity and welfare should be defined, also in light of the interests of future generations.

The authors of this new edition of Global Trends have undertaken in-depth analyses of these developments, briefly outlined here, and present their findings, underpinned by statistical data and factual information.




The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) are launching a new publications series: GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS. The new series aims to identify options for international policy action in an ever more complex world. Furthermore, it presents perspectives from different world regions. The series analyses current developments and challenges against the background of long-term political trends, and it illustrates facts with figures and tables. GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS is issued by a team of co-editors from different world regions. For more information, see our press release.

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Cooperation in a Post-Western World


The Western liberal order finds itself in deep crisis. Global power shifts are accelerating. What does this mean for the future of global cooperation? How can the wish for more national autonomy be reconciled with the need to cooperate in a globalised world? Can new forms of governance contribute to sustaining global cooperation? Michèle Roth and Cornelia Ulbert discuss these questions in the first issue of the new publication series GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS.

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How to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform


The urgently needed UN Security Council reform has been stuck for decades. Without a far-reaching structural change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. But at a time of great power transitions, multipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dangerous trend. Therefore, in GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS 02|2018, Jakkie Cilliers calls for a political and intellectual leap to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform.

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Global Food Governance


After the food riots around the world in 2007/2008, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was reformed. Since then, the CFS has developed into an innovative global policy forum that could be a role model for other Global Governance institutions. In the current evaluation process, however, the CFS also faces a number of challenges. What are the main characteristics of the CFS? How can it prove successful in a changing political environment? Nora McKeon answers these questions in the Global Governance Spotlight 2|2018 and exhorts member governments to value and reinforce this unique policy forum.

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