Key question: How can the current neo-liberal dominated globalisation processes be designed to be democratic and sustainable?
Research for "sustainable governance" identifies approaches to international policy that may be able to counteract the deficiencies accompanying globalisation in the areas of democracy and environment. First of all it addresses how globalisation restructures the political arena by transferring the responsibility for public tasks and goods (such as sustainability, economy of care, civil rights and human rights) from public into "private" hands, and how this can be met politically. Second, different elements of global governance will be developed and outlined. On the one hand, instruments to assess the social and ecological impacts of global trade and exchange processes and what role they can play in the world trade regime will be investigated. On the other hand, an analysis of global institutions will be conducted regarding corporations, UN institutions and the WTO. Regarding corporations, the transformation from responsible corporate governance towards a legal, rules-based system for transnational corporations will be investigated in order to secure environmental and labour standards. Within the institutional setting, it will be examined how institutions regarding environmental and human rights concerns could be strengthened against the powerful economic and financial institutions, such as the WTO. The research and our recommendations will be discussed in the light of the increasing hegemony of the United States and its official withdrawal from the rules-based and multilateral form of global governance.
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Dr. Uta von Winterfeld
Research Group "Sustainable Production and Consumption"
Tel.: +49 / 202 - 2492 - 176
Fax: +49 / 202 - 2492 - 145