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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds In times of complex, interconnected problems, the need for international governance has hardly ever been more pressing. In this context, an intriguing question pertains to the role of nation states. Given the scope of problems, should they be gradually giving up power to larger entities? The dynamics of the European Union does not bring any conclusive evidence along those lines. Notably, due to the difficulty to build legitimacy of larger governance schemes. On another hand, given the demographic trends to urbanisation and the difficulty of citizens to identify with national politics, shouldn’t more emphasis be put on cities? The latter would develop further existing cooperation schemes, networks among themselves. But then what would happen to large swathes of land outside of cities?

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds Whatever future directions, it is clear, however, that global governance needs to rely on layers of governance at the smaller geographical scale. Nation states, despite being challenged by the dynamics of globalisation, remain at this stage the strongest in most parts of the world of those layers. But contestation of its role and prerogatives by cities will surely continue, and one should not ignore the rise of private governance schemes over specific territories either. To sort things out, one need to carefully think about the nature of problems and the specific response that could be provided by the respective layers of governance.

Global governance and the role of nation-states

This video is about layers of governance and the respective role of global institution and mechanisms versus nations states, and smaller governance schemes such as cities.

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This video is from the free online course:

International Affairs: Global Governance

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies