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Global Governance and the Role of Non-State Actors

in association with the Social Science Center, Berlin (WZB) and the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue, Frankfurt.

4 - 5 November 2004
Bankside House, LSE

Non-State Actors (NSAs) are now established as integral players in the architecture of global governance. With the globalisation of many contemporary policy issues, transcending national boundaries - from the environment to terrorism, from financial risk to local conflict - global governance is increasingly a contested process; opening up new space for political action by state and non-state actors. This makes processes of global governance both highly salient, as well as problematic. The conference examined how the regulatory capacity of non-state actors is a resource increasingly drawn upon by the state; in policy domains where it is either unwilling - or unable - to act itself.

The event included contributions from David Held (LSE), Michael Zurn (WZB/Hertie School of Governance), and Bill Emmott (Editor-in-Chief, The Economist). The capacity of non-state actors to provide policy solutions to the problems of global governance is confronted with a new wave of demands for improved representation, transparency, and accountability. In this regard, the conference considered if the rise of the non-state actor is resulting in a legitimacy crisis for global governance - or alternatively if it offers the solution as well as the problem. For future research, this raised the problem of whether new "democratic" forms of global governance should be unilaterally imposed upon civil society.

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