The EU model for world order

Development Policy16 Jun 2008Björn Hettne

From a global development perspective, there is a striking governance gap. The concept of global governance suggests the possibility of a rules-bound order. It refutes the anarchical model of international relations as well as the utopia of the self-regulating market. The disruptive social consequences of deterritorialization implied in the process of market-led globalization have generated certain political forces. These forces aim at halting and modifying the process of globalization in order to guarantee territorial control, cultural diversity and human security.

Transnational and interregional institutions are needed in order to fill this governance gap. I would argue that the European regional integration model represents a potential world order. The EU is in the process of building interregional relations with all regions of the world. The overall purpose of interregionalism is to make the external environment of Europe – i.e. the rest of the world – more stable and more predictable. Interregional and transregional institutions can shape the outlook of regional civilizations toward compatible patterns of coexistence. Ultimately this will imply multiculturalism and multiregionalism.