In This Review

Governance in a Globalizing World

Governance in a Globalizing World
Edited by Joseph S. Nye and John D. Donahue
368 pp, Brookings Institution Press, 2000

This book offers some welcome analytic clarity on a notoriously slippery subject. The editors first try to define globalization precisely to determine its impact on societies and traditional international institutions. But the book's more interesting chapters show how networks of actors are governing globalization. In a superb overview, Nye and Robert Keohane argue that the old model of the state-based international system does not capture the new reality of a decentralized, heterogeneous, and networked world. The result is neither anarchy nor world government but "networked minimalism" -- i.e., nonhierarchical arrays of governmental units, private firms, and nongovernmental organizations focused on specific problems. New rules and norms of conduct are emerging within these networks and diffusing traditional governmental functions. All the same, the nation-state will not disappear; in the developing world, globalization has even strengthened some governments. Yet despite the nation-state's persistence, problems of democratic accountability lurk within this complex system. Hence governments need to develop new methods to coordinate their polices within decentralized transnational settings.