Global Governance in a Changing World
Interview by Stewart Patrick at the Council on Foreign Relations, USA, 2012
In the wake of the debate over electing a non-American president of the World Bank, Stewart M. Patrick, senior fellow and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Thierry de Montbrial of the French Institute for International Relations discuss the challenges of reforming global institutions to include emerging powers. Montbrial says:
Updating global institutions is a race against time. While there are ideas about how to revise the current world order, nations appear to be waiting for an optimal solution when moving forward with a second-best solution might be wiser.
The rise of new powers like China, Brazil, and India “is a fact” that the world must adapt to. It is “good in the sense that we have for decades asked for economic development, for a better world, and to fight poverty.” Their rise is an indication of progress. However, rising powers have not had experience in international leadership in a globalized world and are not necessarily prepared to devote their resources to global governance. China, for instance, “has a lot of experience with their ‘near abroad,’ like Russia. But this is the first time in their very long history that they have to deal with the whole world.”
The United States will remain the “number one power of the world” for the next twenty years, but it will no longer enjoy the supreme primacy it has become accustomed to. The country will need to adjust to “being normal” in terms of its global power.