Unfounded Fears
The Great Global Governance Scare

The fear of “global governance” runs rampant among conservatives and libertarians, as if an unaccountable global autocracy was just around the corner. It’s not.

Published on: August 28, 2017
Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Follow him on twitter at @DaliborRohac.
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  • Bankotsu

    “It is a well-known fact that the post-WWII international order, built
    largely thanks to America’s leadership, has coincided with a global
    decline of violence…”

    Decline of what type of violence? Civil wars?

    • Tom

      Interstate wars.

      • Bankotsu

        I see no evidence of that.

        • Tom

          Your failure to observe is not my problem.

          • Bankotsu

            But your delusions are your own problem.

          • Tom

            Talking to yourself again?

  • Kevin

    The is pretty obtuse. The article fails to deal with the principal objections to “global governance”:
    Suppression of voter’s preferences in favor of elite actors’ preferences
    Suppression of civil rights (such as free speech and religious liberty) disfavored by elite actors
    Massive corruption and payoffs to elites who control the rule making, adjudication and implementation.

    This article would like quite different if written on the streets of Athens, Budapest or Warsaw or the union halls rather than the ivory tower.

    Global governance looks a lot more palatable when the assumption is that your friends and peers who you went to school with, worked alongside and socialize with will be writing and implementing the rules than when someone who despises you will be doing so. “Global governance” has always been about the aristocracy forming international connections with each other to repress their respective peasantries.

    • Gary Hemminger

      very good response Kevin. I completely agree with you. Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.

  • Suzy Dixon

    It’s really twofold. On the one hand, seemingly unaccountable bureaucrats at a more local level are problematic enough, and looking at the EU certainly doesn’t help the cause for global government. And on the other hand, global governance really is a meaningless thing today. How can you possibly have global governance with local authorities being democratic, others being secular autocrats, others being theocratic? It just doesn’t make any sense, and it’s no small wonder the global governance looks like a joke at the UN with permanent members of the Security Council blocking to protect their favorite clients, or with human rights violators being on the UNHRC.

  • Boritz

    On a par with these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

  • Gary Hemminger

    I think this article misses the point entirely. the problem conservatives have with international institutions is that frequently they are corrupted and in addition seem to go massively liberal every time they gain power.

  • Beauceron

    Don’t worry guys, we have your best interests at heart. Nothing to worry about here!

    “Far from being a top-down construct devised by cosmopolitan elites, various structures of global governance are best thought of as bottom-up, polycentric orders”

    This literally made me laugh out loud.

  • Angel Martin

    “No cabal is being formed to replace democratic decision-making with unaccountable bureaucrats or judges in opaque international agencies.”


    Who does this author think he is fooling?

    One of the main arguments against Brexit, and an argument which is now deployed to ignore the referendum and not proceed, is that half of the laws of the UK are EU sourced, so it will be too complicated and expensive to replace them.

  • D4x

    There IS a War between Nationalists and Transnationalists, who, like former Pres. Obama, believe the nation-state must accept
    transnational governance by the United Nations, e.g., Paris Climate Accord, JCPOA, UNSC Resolutions.

    The U.N. is used to legitimize, e.g., the palestinians relentless campaign to delegitimize the
    nation-state of Israel, through the U.N., UNCHR, UNESCO, alternate historical ‘narrative’, protests, etcetera.

    Currently, the U.N. is being used in the campaign to delegitimize the legally elected President of the United States Donald J. Trump:

    >deBlasio’s assault on Christopher Columbus was timed with the U.N. CERD resolution.
    >>So is “The March to Confront White Supremacy”.
    >>>The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, started the UN attacks in October, 2016.

    >U.N. CERD: ” The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged the U.S. government to reject
    racist speech and ideology and criticized its “failure at the highest political level” to unequivocally condemn the racist violence in
    Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month. …”

    “U.N. Panel Urges U.S. Government To Reject Racial Hatred And Violence” August 23, 201712:22 PM ET

    >>”The March to Confront White Supremacy”:
    ” “The March to Confront White Supremacy,” is set to start in Charlottesville Monday, Aug. 28 and end in Washington, D.C., on
    Wednesday, Sept. 6. Organizers say the march will be followed by an occupation of Washington with daily nonviolent demonstrations.

    “This is the time to confront white supremacy in our government and throughout our history.

    We demand that President Trump to be removed from office for allying himself with this ideology of hate
    and we demand an agenda that repairs the damage it’s done to our country and its people,” the website for the march reads.

    “A coalition of left-wing activist groups is set to start a 10-day march from Charlottesville, Virginia,
    to Washington, D.C., on Monday to “confront white supremacy” and demand President Trump’s removal from office. …”
    “10-day march from Charlottesville to DC to start Monday By John Bowden – 08/26/17 06:47 PM EDT”

    The U.N. CERD may seem harmless, but the linkages are not. Anastasia Crickley, chair of CERD,
    is the ultimate credentialed Social Justice warrior, from Ireland to the EU to chairing U.N. CERD. The
    “liberal international order” that won the Cold War was anchored by the creation of the U.N.

    >>>“Donald Trump Is ‘Dangerous’ for Global Stability, U.N. Rights Chief Says

    U.N. Official Calls Trump ‘Dangerous’ ”

    “…Speaking to journalists in Geneva on Wednesday, Mr. al-Hussein said that he had no intention of toning down his remarks,

    given what he described as the prevailing permissive environment in which political leaders felt able to deliver speeches that moved beyond freedom of expression to incitement.

    “When you fan resentment and seek as a political leader to pin blame on a specific community for deeper problems,

    real problems, this is highly regrettable,” Mr. al-Hussein said. “There are very real fears that are
    being stoked and exploited, and this is the point that I was trying to make.”

    The high commissioner set those concerns in the context of a growing “mean spiritedness” of international political
    discourse, and he voiced alarm at the escalating attacks on international law particularly visible in
    the ferocious bombing of the eastern parts of Aleppo, Syria, in recent weeks
    and in the failure of the United Nations Security Council to end it.

    “We look at historical experiences, and we find that we fast arrive at a point where we are unable to deal with the crises that we have in
    place,” Mr. al-Hussein said. “It’s as if we have now begun to forget the very real lessons drawn

    at the end of the Second World War about what it is we need to keep this world safe.” ”

    >>>>fwiw, UNHCHR Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein is the Hashemite prince who inherited the position
    as head of the Royal Houses of Iraq and Syria.

    >>>>>”is itself a much bigger threat to liberal democracy: it adds fuel to the populist wave that risks undoing the fabric that has kept the western world peaceful, democratic, and increasingly economically integrated.” by this author, Dalibor Rohac, sounds a lot like UNHCHR Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, without the political science construction.

  • Tom Scharf

    I refuse to cede any sovereignty to unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats. What could go wrong?

  • Joe Eagar

    There is a cabal in favor of a global government. I think that’s undeniable. They just aren’t very competent at advancing their agenda.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Nearly no one wants global government. Nearly everyone wants peace and cooperation between nations. The more general knowledge accumulates, the more likely it is. The more we practice cooperation on matters like trade, aviation, sea lanes, natural disaster, disease, crop maximization, tourism, education, and other matters, the better we get at working together.

    • Pait

      International aviation is an even bigger success story for transnational organizations than trade. Airplanes and ships travel at about the same speed as they did 50 years ago. Travel has increased much faster than technology has progressed, due to agreements and institutions that make flights safe and simple.

      Yet assorted psychos would want the to leave ICAO and other UN agencies, if they knew what it is, as they want to pull out of the WTO and Nafta.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Absolutely. The world has seen remarkable cooperation on a variety of issues “in spite of” rhetorical tendencies of the assorted psychos of which you speak to the contrary. Aviation from country to country may be the top example—-from flight rules and norms to the planes to air safety to terminal accommodations to pricing to visas to security. We should all be highlighting this progress.

        It’s worth remembering that tourism has been said to be the number one industry in the world. So when business that everyone wants is at stake, wow, look what CAN be done to overcome other kinds of “differences”.

  • ვეფხისტყაოსანი

    If I alter one of Rohac’s sentences slightly:

    But it is also conservative, when confronted with complex phenomena, to err on the side of caution rather than jump to unwarranted, though ideologically comforting .

    I think I can demonstrate the problem conservatives — and the apolitical man in the street, if any there be — have with bureaucracy of all sorts, but especially with those which have a global reach.

    If the international institutions we have were brave and wise and produced only results that we all could agree are sensible (rather than, say, spending time and money determining the proper curvature of a banana or the proper amount of power a tea kettle should use) and did not encourage the invasion of sovereign states by uneducated, unskilled, illiterate and often violent “migrants,” then Rohac’s argument might resonate with the Great Unwashed.

    As it is, well … not so much.

    Hmmm: my links are invisible. Click on ‘curvature of a banana’ or ‘tea kettle’ if you’re curious.

  • Ironically, some foreigners say that America holds the greatest degree of global political, economic and cultural hegemony in this modern day and age. A soft kind of imperialism, if you will, at least in their opinions.

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