Global Governance | Readout and Recommendations

Challenging Multilateralism and the Liberal Order

June 2016


Globalization has intensified the need for global cooperation, but the current global order is fraying. New forms of competition—for example, Russia in Ukraine and China in the South China Sea—are making international cooperation more difficult and will continue to do so. Despite their benefits, technological progress and advancements in the human lifespan create challenges to national growth and prosperity. Faltering economic growth also generates new challenges to global order. The collective ability to sustain and secure desired outcomes in global governance—from protecting the global commons to alleviating poverty—is far more limited today than in the past. Moreover, domestic politics, especially in the United States, threaten to undermine international stability.

On May 13 and 14, 2016, the Stanley Center, the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Global Summitry Project at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, the Brookings Institution, and the Project on the Future of Multilateralism at Princeton University held their sixth annual workshop on global governance. The workshop convened scholars and former policymakers to examine the state of global governance and consider how to correct its shortcomings. The report summarizes the discussion’s highlights.