Rethinking Global Governance

Updating international institutions for the 21st century.
  • Transcript


David Kennedy: Well I do think collectively on the planet as a whole, we need to rethink the institutional structure that came down to us from the World War II era, which has been very effective in its own terms in promoting this general phenomenon that goes by the name globalization and human interdependence with the world around. That institutional structure I think still has a lot to recommend it; but I don’t think it’s adequate to the task of the 21st century. So I think the collective task for all the peoples and all the sovereign states of the earth is to look at that institutional structure, update it, add to it, eliminate those institutions that are no longer historically necessary; but to start thinking about institutional structures that will address environmental issues and their global and planetary contexts. We don’t have anything like that now. We have national organizations that do so in this country – the Environmental Protection Agency. But our . . . And we’ve . . . We’re groping towards international institutions to serve these kinds of functions, as in the Kyoto Accords, something that this country has repudiated. But the dawning consciousness, it seems to me, that these are issues that transcend national borders and must be dealt with in a planetary way, and therefore require institutional apparatus to do so. And I think that’s a big agenda.

Recorded on: 7/4/07