Global Governance | Readout and Recommendations

Being There: The Nonstate Role in Multilateral Cooperation

Paul D. Kretkowski | June 2015


Nonstate actors (NSAs) are proliferating in number and kind, and increasingly seek to exercise influence in multilateral or international organizations. Their focus has broadened from the traditional domain of peace and war to a host of other, equally complex issues. NSAs are also increasingly transnational, establishing a presence in whichever countries and at whichever forums will improve their effectiveness as actors and/or lobbyists.

The “Being There: The Nonstate Role in Multilateral Cooperation” conference on November 19, 2014, at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, sought to expand on informal case studies of NSA attempts to exert influence on nation-states and multilateral forums to discussions of NSAs’ legitimacy; their strategies; the boundaries between NSAs, nation-states, and international forums; and the upsides and downsides of NSA participation in multilateral settings. Participants made recommendations for increasing nonstate actors’ effectiveness and/or ability to coordinate with nation-states and state-sponsored international organizations.