However, the extent of the compatibility between the processes of reformulating policy strategies appropriate to specific historical-institutional settings and the mainstream of the ‘governance’ debates in the corridors of the international financial institutions is over-stated for at least three reasons. First, the globalisation backlash is likely to prevent the emergence of a settled intellectual consensus of what constitute global public goods. Second, the debates have to date largely been conducted in arenas from which ‘developing countries’ are excluded. Third, the capacities of the states of Asia and Latin America have been seriously eroded by the negative impact of financial crisis. As a result, we argue (a) that the dynamics of multilateral collective action have been altered in important ways under the impact of financial crises in Asia and Latin America, and (b) that the role of national states in Asia and Latin America is concerned less with the provision of public goods than with the minimisation of ‘public bads’. This minimisation of ‘bads’ is, at the end of the twentieth century, an inherent part of the debates about the appropriate role of public authorities, and their relationship with other elements of the state—civil society—market nexus.
Keywords: governance, public domain, public goods, Post-Washington Consensus.