High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve Them

By J. F. Rischard | Go to book overview

21
Controversial Aspects

As always, the devil will be in the details. Worse, it could even be in the overall design itself. At least four major pitfalls await networked governance and the global issues network idea that illustrates what it could look like.


The Sheer Complexity of the Tasks

Almost by definition, all twenty global issues present formidable challenges in producing global norms. As discussed earlier, they are all either politically difficult or technically difficult, or more likely both. While there may be the occasional win-win solution for many aspects of global issues, much of the problem-solving involves global wins and local losses, or immediate sacrifices for the benefit of people not yet born. Think of global warming and the carbon emission ceilings.

But the degree of difficulty is inherent in the issues to be solved, not in the network approach. If an issue is tough, it will be tough for the current international setup to handle, and it will likewise make life hard for any global issues network that would try its hand at it. Yet if anything, the networks and their practical approach (where simply asserting individual positions isn't accepted and where the members must think like global citizens) may have a better chance of delivering solutions than the current international setup left to its own devices. Put it another way: what's the alternative?

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