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Globalization and Governance: From Statism to Polycentrism

J A Scholte
CSGR Working Paper No. 130/04
February 2004


This paper explores the implications of globalization for governance. It argues that the contemporary large-scale and accelerated growth of transworld connectivity has rendered the statist mode of governance unviable and encouraged the emergence of polycentric (multi-sited and networked) regulation. States remain crucial nodes in this polycentric governance, although globalization has spurred several important shifts in their attributes. Meanwhile, globalization has opened considerable possibilities for substate (municipal and provincial) authorities to engage directly with realms beyond their state. Inadequacies of the state as a sole site for the governance of global relations have also promoted a growth of suprastate (regional and transworld) sites of regulation. In addition, contemporary globalization and the currently prevailing neoliberal policy framework have encouraged a major expansion of private sites of governance. Civil society has followed the trend from statism to polycentrism by shifting its focus from the state alone to a multi-layered and diffuse governance apparatus

Keywords: globalization; governance; state; civil society.

Address for correspondence:

Jan Aart Scholte
Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

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