Enhancing the Provision of Global Public Goods: Ready for More Realism?


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Enhancing the Provision of Global Public Goods: Ready for More Realism?

January 14, 2022

This policy brief evaluates the type of reinvigorated multilateralism that would be fit for purpose, that is, fostering more adequate global public good (GPG) provision under the present policymaking realities, and explore whether there already exists a momentum for such change on which to build further progress. The analysis suggests that such a reinvigorated multilateralism would have four distinguishing features. It would operate on the principle of fostering mutual compatibility between international cooperation and sovereignty; recognize GPGs as a new, additional type of public policy challenge, ending their current confounding with development assistance; adopt a mission-oriented approach to resolving GPG-related challenges; and integrate the rising number of autochthonous regional organizations as meso-level intermediaries between the ‘global’ and the ‘individual,’ including the ‘individual national’ into global governance. The reason for this fourth feature is that these regional organizations and the regionalization they drive already play a critical though often still underappreciated role in GPG provision. The policy brief recommends ways for translating these four reform ideas into innovations at the practical political level. Most just call for a massive rethinking, or put differently, more realism.