Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The theory and practice of global economic governance in the early twenty-first century: The limits of multilateralism

Higgott, R. (2012) The theory and practice of global economic governance in the early twenty-first century: The limits of multilateralism. In: Grant, W. and Wilson, G.K., (eds.) The Consequences of the Global Financial Crisis: The Rhetoric of Reform and Regulation. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 15-33.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and its aftermath have caused some observers to question whether the international economic institutions developed in the Bretton Woods era are any longer suitable for the challenges they face in the contemporary age: if they are unable to prevent (increasingly recurring) crises or facilitate a more general process of long-term economic collective action problem solving what are they for? This kind of analysis misses the point. For all their apparent failings the need for such institutions is unlikely to disappear in an era characterized by higher levels of economic interdependence. Global economic governance may still be imperfect and, in contrast to the global economy, underdeveloped. But if global governance is to evolve, multilateral economic institutions of one kind or another must be at least one of the key elements of the process. The emergence of the G20 is discussed and its limitations reviewed. The generic challenge is to adapt multilateralism to the dynamics of a world battling to come to terms with changing power balances and emerging policy agendas that do not lend themselves easily to the approaches to collective action problem solving that prevailed in the second half of the twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Item Control Page Item Control Page