Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Governing the Global Economy: Strengthening Multilateral Institutions

Ngaire Woods

July 2008

International Peace Institute


The good news in the global economy is that the past two decades have seen globalization proceed apace with unprecedented economic growth in several parts of the world. To date, sound economic policy has made hyperinflation a rarity. Rising commodity prices are fueling growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Formerly poor countries are emerging as major players in the world economy. The bad news is that the world economy is currently looking more precarious, more unequal, and less governed than it has been in previous decades. In part this is because governance within the global economy has not kept up with globalization and growth. This paper examines practical measures which could refashion and reinvigorate the role of institutions in governing the global economy so as to better manage the precariousness, the inequality, and the lack of engagement in multilateralism from which many countries are currently suffering.