Monday, August 28, 2017

Raustiala: Public Power and Private Stakeholders

Kal Raustiala (Univ. of California, Los Angeles - Law) has posted Public Power and Private Stakeholders. Here's the abstract:
The guiding principle of postwar global governance was multilateralism. From the grandest multilateral project — the United Nations — to the many organizations created in the years following the end of the Second World War, global governance followed a familiar state-centric template. 21st century global governance continues to reflect multilateral principles. But it is increasingly characterized by flexible structures, greater tolerance for informality, and, most strikingly, an increasingly active role for non-state actors. In short, multilateral governance is increasingly supplemented, and in some cases even supplanted, by multistakeholder governance. The move to meaningfully include private actors in the exercise of power is one of the most striking contemporary trends in global governance. Why is the shift to greater inclusion occurring? States remain the most powerful actors in world politics, and as organizations like the WTO and the UN Security Council show, they can readily cabin the role of private stakeholders when they choose to. This paper argues the rise of private actors has not come at the expense of public actors, but instead often works to the benefit of those public actors. Private actors bring many informational and political benefits to the exercise of regulatory power. This symbiotic relationship between public and private actors is insufficiently appreciated and helps to explain the striking rise of multistakeholderism in global governance. To be sure, the commitment to multistakeholderism varies markedly across issue areas. While more research is needed to move beyond the impressionistic, the overall pattern is broadly consistent. The inclusion of private power, far from threatening public power, often helps it to thrive.