Norm dynamics in a post-hegemonic world: multistakeholder global governance and the end of liberal international order

Jack Taggart*, Kavi Joseph Abraham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines the emergence, spread, and potential future of ‘multistakeholderism’ in global governance: A global norm specifying that global public problems ought to be addressed by all actors who affect or are affected by them. While some suggest that multistakeholderism may dominate twenty first century global governance, its origins are unclear, and its spread is limited globally. Furthermore, the implications of the end of Liberal International Order and the emergence of a ‘post-hegemonic’ world raises questions on the future of multistakeholderism and global norm dynamics more broadly. To address these concerns, this article advances a Gramscian approach to norm dynamics. The empirical analysis examines the origins and uneven spread of the multistakehodler norm, finding that its emergence and varying influence in global governance are intertwined with hegemonic power struggles across different policy fields. We contend that dominant actors use multistakeholderism to assimilate recalcitrant actors while advancing Northern state and corporate power, yet powerful Southern states resist the norm. In a post-hegemonic world order, the internalization of multistakeholderism is highly limited, and it is unlikely to supplant the dominant norm of interstate multilateralism. Ultimately, the article concludes by reflecting on the fraught fate of multistakeholderism and on global norms more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-381
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date18 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2024

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