© 2018

The Shifting Global Economic Architecture

Decentralizing Authority in Contemporary Global Governance

  • Analyzes the international effects of the 2008 global financial crisis on economic policy and governance

  • Considers how global economic governance can be more adaptable and better suited to the policy challenges of the twenty-first century

  • Draws upon various social-scientific research fields and methods to present the reader with a thorough exploration of the topic


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Shifting Organizational Framework

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
  3. Contesting Policy Principles, Norms, and Practices

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Jonathan Luckhurst
      Pages 155-185
  4. Destabilizing Actor Hierarchies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 259-306

About this book


This book analyzes the shifting global economic architecture, indicating the decentralizing authority in global economic governance since the Cold War and, especially, following the 2008-09 global financial crisis. The author examines recent adjustments to the organizational framework, contestation of policy principles, norms, and practices, and destabilizing actor hierarchies, particularly in global macroeconomic, trade, and development governance. The study's ‘analytical eclecticism’ includes a core constructivist IR approach, but also incorporates insights from several international relations theories as well as political and economic theory. The book develops a unique ‘analytical matrix’, which analyzes effects of strategic, political, and cognitive authority in the organizational, policy, and actor contexts of the global economic architecture. It concludes that, despite concerns about potential fragmentation, decentralizing authority has increased the integration of leading developing states and new actors in contemporary global economic governance.  

Jonathan Luckhurst is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Center for North American Studies of the Pacific Studies Department, University of Guadalajara, Mexico.


Global Financial Crisis Economic Governance Economic Policy Global Governance Globalization Political Economy International

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

About the authors

Jonathan Luckhurst is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Center for North American Studies of the Pacific Studies Department, University of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Luckhurst takes a fresh look at the evolution of global governance and global economic governance in particular. He finds, in a thorough analysis, that, as he puts it, ‘decentralized authority [strategic, political and cognitive] has augmented rather than weakened global economic governance.’ Is it American hegemony or decentralized authority? He makes a strong case for the latter. This examination of global governance is worth a very close read.” (Alan S. Alexandroff, Director of the Global Summitry Project at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada)

“This book is a highly valuable study of the mega shift in economic governance towards decentralization of authority. In large part it serves as a form of academic catch up as many of the trends with respect to the changes in organizational and policy settings, along with the integration of new actors, are not sudden developments. But inevitably they are becoming more pronounced with the impact of the Trump Administration and the erosion of US global leadership. Luckhurst’s achievement is that he has been able to highlight both the degree of contestation in terms of policy principles, norms, and practices with the push for new forms of integrative cooperation. While ambitious in terms of its content, the style of presentation allows an extended readership.” (Andrew F. Cooper, Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs and Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo, Canada)

“Never have we needed more this kind of careful, thoughtful analysis to help us to make sense of global economic governance in a ‘G-Zero’ world. Dr. Jonathan Luckhurst demonstrates three dimensions of economic authority—strategic, political and cognitive. He shows how these kinds of authority are decentralising power throughout the global economic architecture. This may in time produce a more inclusive world economy, replacing the Washington Consensus with the ‘Sustainable Development Consensus’. Is ‘fragmentation’ in fact leading to a more legitimate system of responding to economic crises? Luckhurst is gifted at sifting through complex governance systems and making sense of it all, presenting a much more nuanced picture than current ‘West versus the rest’ narratives.” (Susan Harris Rimmer, Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Griffith University, Australia)

“In this comprehensive analysis of the key issues confronting the contemporary global economy, Luckhurst makes a powerful and persuasive case that the decentralizing authority of the global economic architecture since the 2008 global financial crisis has strengthened rather than weakened global economic governance, rather than created a so-called “G zero” world or one where competitive regional governance dominates. Using a disciplined analytical framework that creatively synthesizes contructivist and other international relations theories and several methods, he offers new insights into the summits of the G20, G7 and BRICS and their effectiveness and legitimacy in the era of Donald Trump, Theresa May and the populist, protectionist pressures that lie behind. This is a ‘must read’ for scholars and students of global governance and for practitioners seeking guidance on their prospects and preferred path ahead.” (John J. Kirton, Co-founder and Director, G8 Research Group at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Canada)

“The great recession encouraged a questioning of conventional economic wisdom and had a profound effect on the architecture of global economic governance. In this theoretically-sophisticated book, Jonathan Luckhurst provides an insightful analysis of recent developments, focusing on the increasing decentralization of governance, the growth of regionalism, and the rise of new actors. A must read for all students of global governance.” (John Ravenhill, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada)