Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2010

Civilizing the World Order? The Scope and Potential of Transnational Norm-building Networks

Cord Jakobeit, Robert Kappel, Ulrich M├╝ckenberger

January 2010

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


Civil society organizations, epistemic communities, and lobby groups—what we call transnational norm-building networks—are influencing the global economy and global politics more than ever before. We argue that such transnational norm-building networks, in contrast to the dominating executive intergovernmental elites and democratically deficient supranational bodies, hold the scope and potential for a more civilized world order. They are—together with states and international governmental organizations—creating new norms; they are setting standards. They associate the voice of stakeholders with decision-making processes, thus leading to an increase in legitimate world governance.