Economic Multilateralism: A Search for Legitimacy and Coherence in the Early Twenty-first Century

  • Richard HiggottEmail author
Part of the United Nations University Series on Regionalism book series (UNSR, volume 5)


The chapter identifies a traditional twofold definition of global economic governance as effectiveness and efficiency on the one hand and accountability and representation on the other. Such a bifurcation is argued to be inappropriate, indeed deficient, if economic multilateralism is to be effective, coherent and legitimate in the twenty-first century. The hegemony of governance as effectiveness and efficiency (essentially an economic definition) will not long survive in the absence of an integration with an understanding of governance as the necessary representation of legitimate actors into this process, the enhanced accountability of the international economic institutions within and emerging global polity in an era of increasing global economic crisis. The chapter offers some reformist insights into how this integrative process might be taken forward but offers a pessimistic judgement on the prospects for success.


Global Governance Collective Action Problem Global Public Good Global Civil Society Dispute Settlement Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of the Vice ChancellorMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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