Global Markets, Global Citizens, and Global Governance in the 21st Century - Working Paper 329

This paper was published in the book: Towards a Better Global Economy: Policy Implications for Citizens Worldwide in the 21st Century. Franklin Allen, Jere R. Behrman, Nancy Birdsall, Shahrokh Fardoust, Dani Rodrik, Andrew Steer, and Arvind Subramanian. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Read Nancy and Christian's blog on the paper here.

In this paper Nancy Birdsall and co-authors argue that the politics and institutions of global cooperation have not kept up with economic globalization’s reach. Although people from both developing and developed countries are becoming more vocal in their support for the ideals of global citizenship, the pace of structural reform among major institutions remains too slow to address their concerns of legitimacy and inequality.

Global governance is no substitute for a country’s own well-managed policies of politics and economics, but the interconnected nature of our world demands that our leaders recognize the necessity for global coordination to keep pace with the demand for a more farsighted global order.


The politics, rules, and institutions of cooperation among nations have not kept up with the demands from global citizens for changes in the global political order. Whether norms and policies can make the global politics of managing the global economy more effective, more legitimate, and more responsive to the needs of the bottom half of the world’s population, for whom life remains harsh, remains to be seen. There is some cause for optimism, however: citizens everywhere are becoming more aware of and active in seeking changes in the global norms and rules that could make the global system and the global economy fairer—in processes if not outcomes—and less environmentally harmful.

Rights & Permissions

You may use and disseminate CGD’s publications under these conditions.