How Multi-Stakeholder is Global Policy?

Global Policy | September 2012

By Parag Khanna

The global financial crisis revealed not only the need for greater oversight of the private sector, but also the co-dependence of governments and those firms. From national economic governance to transnational regulations such as the Basel III regulations, the continued strong influence of the private sector in negotiating, setting standards and implementing them through private bodies such as the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) remains undeniable. The global financial crisis thus illustrates how even amidst valid claims that ‘the state is back’, global policy making is increasingly multi-stakeholder in character. This article provides a snapshot of the increasing extensiveness of multi-stakeholder processes through a conceptual overview and an empirical survey, highlighting instances in which various actor pillars (governments, intergovernmental organisations, civil society organisations, corporations, etc.) have begun to expand their membership and participation to include other stakeholders. It demonstrates that even as the main actor groups that serve as the foundation of global policy processes remain mostly unchanged, the extent to which each pursues multi-stakeholder approaches has increased.

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