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Chair of Global Governance


In the context of the study program Politics, Administration & International Relations the subject area of global governance focuses on the problems of the control of global contexts in both its research and teaching. In the context of an increasingly fast globalization, global contexts are developing - such as the world economy, the global financial system, the global health system, global epistemic communities, global development strategies, global policy networks, and many other global players and institutions. In certain respects they are disconnecting themselves from the controlling influence of national states and beginning their own history of developing autonomous governance regimes. The result is a many-faceted, complex area of conflict between national states and global contexts which organizes itself in various different forms of governance - from self-governance to global governance.

In contrast to the theory of the state or to administrative science, global governance is a very young academic discipline and an emerging field of political practice. This means that both the theories of global governance and its models and practice fields are only just developing and are undergoing a dynamic development and change process. This implies that globalization and its effects are a highly debated area of politics which is characterized by contrasting interests. On the one hand there are the winners and losers of globalization, on the other new players and institutions are entering the discussions on global governance regimes. Both poles challenge established forms of government and administration that are also leading to changes on the levels of traditional national states.

Against this background, the subject area offers the following focus areas:

  • Theories of global governance, genesis of governance regimes
  • Models of governing global operating systems
  • Practice of global system governance

Theories of Global Governance, Genesis of Governance Regimes

There is a huge variety of theoretical explanations that aim for a useful reconstruction of the functions and consequences of global governance - ranging from the early modernization theory and Wallerstein´s world systems theory to today´s theory of the global society. In this context, the connections to sociological theories of society, to political science theories of creating social order and of governance, and to general theories of controlling highly complex social systems are especially important. A critical problem in this context is the question, how the processes of establishing a global society interact with the complementary processes of establishing a knowledge society.

Models of Governing Global Operating Systems

Global operating systems (from finance, business and trade, sports, tourism, mass media, health, science, art, education, and development to religion, crime, or terrorism) are increasingly developing their own controlling competences that are expanded at their own central institutions with strategic intentions. The working methods, resources, conflicts and paradoxes of these global institutions - such as mainly WTO, WHO, BIS, IOC, IEA, IRC, etc. - therefore constitute a highly important research and teaching focus of the subject area of global governance. At the same time, these institutions and organizations are possible professional areas and employers of graduates of the study program PAIR.

Practice of Global System Governance

The practice of global system governance is characterized by the fact that on a global scale, there is no overall political decision-making body (with the highly specialized exception of the UN Security Council). Therefore, the lateral world systems are developing their own individual governance regimes that are based on highly different resources, but increasingly depend on the resource of knowledge (specialized expertise). At the same time, complex and heterogeneous global regulatory systems are developing that are summarized as "global law". Finally, the resource of "ethics" is experiencing a not unproblematic renaissance due to the dynamics of globalization.

A central question of the practice of global system governance is thus: What are the effects of this different distribution and use, as well as the different access to these resources, on the legitimacy and the sustainability of the developing governance regimes?