Global Public Goods: Regulatory and Governance Challenges

Esil Conference 2017 > Theme > Global Public Goods: Regulatory and Governance Challenges

Demand for the provision of global public goods i.e. goods, the cost and/or benefits of which affect all people and countries, remains relentless. Everyone depends on a clean environment, health, food, knowledge, property rights, peace and security, all of which have a global dimension. But the unremitting pace of globalisation means that it is increasingly difficult to make such goods available within a national framework. Nor can the demand for global public goods be met by the traditional means of international cooperation: instead, they remain underprovided, giving rise to the familiar collective action problem of free-riding. Similarly, despite the presence of global public goods on the agendas of UN agencies, the IMF, the World Bank and a plethora of NGOs, increasing reliance is being placed on commerce, the world trading system, and the contribution of private actors, to deliver them. Global public goods may, therefore, be governed by the interplay of a variety of regulatory sources (national, public and private law, international hard and soft law), institutions and actors. These factors contribute to growing doubts about the governance of global public goods, such as the ability of the international system and of sovereign states to properly appreciate the demand for such goods and to react accordingly.

This agora seeks to understand the current provision, regulation and governance of global public goods and the emerging challenges that exist in fulfilling the demand for such goods. Among the various issues that it seeks to address are: the interplay among the regulatory and governance factors that highlight the interlinkage between national, public and private law and international law; the question as to whether international cooperation can be improved to overcome some of the collective action failings; the emerging role of the private sector, and in particular of business and commerce, in delivering global public goods and potential governance consequences; the role of normative and administrative bodies in addressing the regulation of global public goods; and the emergence of informal or soft international law-making in the transnational and international law sphere in addressing the provision of global public goods.




Ramses Wessel (University of Twente)



 Freya Baetens (University of Oslo) “Judicial governance of global public goods: Establishing locus standi for erga omnes claims before the International Court”

 Anna-Maria Hubert (University of Calgary) “International Law and the Governance of Geoengineering Research and Innovation as a Global Public Good”

 Harlan Grant Cohen (University of Georgia) “Global Goods in a Multipolar Era”