S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance

Since the project’s launch in 2008, it has brought together scholars from Asia, Europe, and North America to investigate how basic questions about sovereignty and institutional diversity in world affairs are being addressed in two key issue areas: Global Health Governance (GHG), Global Energy Governance (GEG). Apart from this, the study groups included research on the Concepts of Global Governance. Under this project, CAG also convened a conference on the Environmental policies in Asia and Global Economic Governance.

This project probes the growing crisis in global governance. The shortfall in global governance reflects both the complexity of the issues and the inadequacy of existing institutions. The global agenda and rules of globalisation have so far been set primarily by Europe and the United States, reflecting the distribution of power and capacity that existed at the end of World War Two. The formal organisations these countries have developed – the UN, WTO, the IMF and the World Bank – do not fully address the concerns of the 21st century and do not possess the global legitimacy needed to serve as the fora within which the world can tackle its most pressing problems. Other existing institutions – the G8 and other G-groups, networks of regulators, private-public partnerships, and transnational civil society coalitions – remain underdeveloped and/or generally unrepresentative.

It is clear that in order to make the significant strides needed to improve effective decision making for the global agenda, we need new approaches to global governance. In response to this compelling need, in January 2008 the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and its Centre on Asia and Globalisation launched the three-year S.T. Lee Project on Global Governance. The project brings together top thinkers and practitioners from Asia and West to develop insights and recommendations on how to govern a world that includes a rising Asia.

The project addresses two key sets of questions:

  • How can states, the private sector and civil society better organise to address the deficiencies in global governance? In a world of emerging multipolarity and deepening globalisation, how can the international community take effective collective action?
  • What is Asia’s role in dealing with these issues? How can, and should, Asia translate its emerging economic clout into positive political influence that will strengthen global governance?