Watchman Newsletter

National Intelligence Council and European Union�s Institute for Security Studies Release Report on Prospects for Global Governance

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Link) (September 20, 2010)

Global governance�the collective management of common problems at the international level�is at a critical juncture, according to a new report released today, issued jointly by the ODNI�s National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the European Union�s Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). The report, Global Governance 2025�a follow-on to the NIC�s 2008 report, Global Trends 2025�posits that the growing number of issues on the international agenda, and their complexity, is outpacing the ability of international organizations and national governments to address these challenges.

The report concludes that three effects of rapid globalization are driving demands for more effective global governance:

  1. economic interdependence;

  2. the interconnected nature of the challenges on the international agenda; and

  3. interwoven domestic and foreign challenges.

According to the report, more effective global governance is critical to addressing �threats such as ethnic conflicts, infectious diseases, and terrorism as well as a new generation of global challenges including climate change, energy security, food and water scarcity, international migration flows and new technologies,� which are increasingly taking center stage.

Complicating the prospects for effective global governance over the next 15 years, however, is the shift to a multipolar world, particularly the shift in power toward nonstate actors. The report�s authors note that, �Diverse perspectives and suspicions about global governance, which is seen as a Western concept, will add to the difficulties of effectively mastering the growing number of challenges.�

The authors stress the importance of multilateral institutions, which �can deliver public goods that summits, nonstate actors, and regional frameworks cannot supply,� because �multiple and diverse governance frameworks, however flexible, probably are not going to be sufficient to keep pace with the looming number of transnational and global challenges absent extensive institutional reforms and innovations.�

Global Governance 2025 is innovative in several ways. It is the NIC�s first unclassified report jointly developed and produced with a non-US body. It includes fictionalized scenarios that illustrate potential trajectories of the international system as it tries to confront new challenges over the next 15 years. And, the report is the culmination of a highly inclusive process that involved consultations with government officials, media representatives, and business, academic, NGO, and think tank leaders in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and the UAE.

A full copy of the report is available online at:

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The National Intelligence Council, reporting to the ODNI, is the Intelligence Community center for mid- and long-term strategic thinking. The ODNI leads intelligence integration and oversees 17 federal organizations that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community. �

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