Accountability in Global Governance

2002 Occasional Paper
By Woods, Ngaire

The terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 and their aftermath effects on the world economy have underlined vulnerabilities faced by developing countries and industrialized countries alike in a globalizing world. The attacks were undertaken by groups embedded in communities across the world, capable of using passenger aircraft and pathogens to wreak havoc within and across borders. Overnight US national security acquired a more global dimension and a new coalition-building impetus. So too global public health and the international pharmaceutical industry have sprung into the limelight with the spectre of anthrax spreading in and possibly outside of the US. Industrialized countries have found themselves in need of large preventive supplies of an antibiotic produced under patent by one large pharmaceutical company, forcing many to reassess the trade-related intellectual property rights regime that has been pushed in the WTO (FT 23/10/2001). Globalization has deepened interdependence in global security, health, politics, and the world economy. It has also heightened expectations of global governance. Globalization has become an inflammatory issue. Some believe it brings modernization, growth and opportunities, but many others point to those who marginalized or who have been left dissatisfied by the process. Increasing public anxiety and doubt has been expressed in largescale anti-globalization demonstrations surrounding major meetings of international economic and environmental organizations. Governments themselves have focussed more than ever before on how better to manage globalization. They have been assisted by a slew of expert commissions looking into the question (see UN 2001, IFIAC 2000, Ford Foundation 2001).