Centre of Expertise Global Governance

New actors and new solutions for global governance challenges
New actors and solutions for today’s global governance challenges

What does global governance really mean?

Can you describe what global governance is – or what it actually means in the real world?

Today, global governance is primarily understood as the affairs of states and global governance institutions. But the more we focus on states and institutions, the more confusing this concept seems – especially with governance structures around the world evolving rapidly.

To start, many of the local institutions, agencies, and citizens doing the concrete work of global governance are underrepresented in traditional global governance institutions – a problem described by the ‘participation gap’.

At the same time, those who are most affected by global problems – such as citizens, students, or practitioners – are often puzzled by how global governance works in practice. This issue is known as the ‘information gap’.

For example, to tackle climate change, state actors must collaborate at multiple levels. But citizens, students, and practitioners themselves rarely know what actions are being taken locally – through community work, local governance, or private-public partnerships – to combat climate change.

Toward a broader understanding

But these dilemmas can be resolved. By understanding that global governance is really a world of local practices and local solutions, we can drive a more inclusive approach to it.

That’s why our mission at the Centre of Expertise on Global Governance is to improve understanding of how global governance works in practice (“New Actors, New Solutions”). In particular, we have four key goals:

1. Increasing the practical knowledge and skills of students in fields relevant to global governance;

2. Contributing to the professionalization of global governance through professional training courses and applied research;

3. Improving the public visibility of and engagement with the institutions shaping global governance by professionals, citizens, and youth;

4. Contributing to the development of new practical solutions that drive collaborative, inclusive, innovative governance at international, regional, national, and local levels. These solutions should be conducive to inclusion, equal representation, accountability, and legitimacy.

How do we support more inclusive global governance?

Inspired by the field of climate governance, we see global governance as a network of interdependent actors solving global problems together. Guided by this understanding, we study global problems with the people directly involved in those problems – what they do, how they do it, and how their practices can be improved.

We do this through communities of practice, and by using qualitative research methods such as interviews, surveys, focus discussion groups, archival work, and citizen science. We also collaborate on projects in development governance, climate change, women’s rights, and diversity.

This allows us to identify more local practices by new, underrepresented actors as being part of global governance, and to develop new collaborative solutions to global problems.

Our research program is regularly reviewed to make sure it represents the fast-changing reality of global governance, and builds on three key areas of expertise:

1) European studies and public administration
2) United Nations Studies in Peace and Justice
3) Multilevel regulation and alternative dispute resolution

Our mission

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Global Challenges in 365 Days: Creating student science on global governance

Global Challenges in 365 Days: Creating student science on global governance

How do students understand global governance? And how much does it matter to them and their generation? These questions are central to the project ‘Global Challenges in 365 days.
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Professional training courses on ‘Global Governance in Practice’

Professional training courses on ‘Global Governance in Practice’

The mission of the Centre of Expertise on Global Governance ‘New actors, new solutions’ is to increase the understanding of students, professionals and citizens about how global governance works in practice.
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The Community of Practice on Global Governance in practice

The Community of Practice on Global Governance in practice

Our Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of researchers, students and practitioners who share the mission of the Centre of Expertise in helping new or underrepresented actors find their role in Global Governance.
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The Textbook on “Global Governance in Practice”

The Textbook on “Global Governance in Practice”

One of the important missions of our Centre is to increase practical knowledge of students on issues of global governance in selected programmes at THUAS. For this purpose, the Centre has started the development of a student textbook on Global Governance in Practice.

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  1. 23 April 2021
    Workshop on Climate Change Technologies
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Researchers in the spotlight

Researcher in the spotlight: Christine Tremblay

Christine Tremblay, lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, is starting a weekly reading discussion group exploring diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion is an important and vibrant subject for THUAS studen...

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Researcher in the spotlight: Ruud Schapenk

“It’s a major challenge for any researcher to convey the results of dense research in an accessible and almost effervescent way. However, a podcast is an excellent way to achieve that. Together with Dr. Mendeltje van Keulen, profes...

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Recent publications 


Decentralisatie: hét antwoord op de Arabische Lente?

The so-called “Arab Spring” originated in the socio-economic grievances which resulted from the long-standing regional inequalities in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. One of the policy responses was to deepen ongoing decentralisation reforms, or design and implement new ones, ostensibly in a bid to increase citizen participation in local governance and service delivery. In this article published by the Clingendael Spectator, Sylvia I. Bergh takes stock of these reforms in Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan, and finds that the reforms’ implementation suffer from weak or ambiguous legal frameworks and a lack of adequate human and financial resources. Decentralisation reforms have at best offered a (temporary) solution to the crisis of legitimacy of both authoritarian regimes and newly elected governments. However, they do not (yet) provide a substantive response the protesters' ongoing demands for socio-economic justice.
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Centre of Expertise Publications