World government researchers discuss "the practical politics of global integration"

Secretariat, 22. June 2016

World Government Research Network hosts workshop in Brisbane / World Parliament one of the topics

Last week, around twenty researchers and practitioners met for two days at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, to discuss "the practical politics of global integration" at a first event hosted by the World Government Research Network that was established last year.


                                       Participants of the workshop in Brisbane

According to the convenors of the network, Luis Cabrera of Griffith University and James Thompson of Hiram College in Ohio, "over the past two decades, some of the world's leading International Relations theorists, normative political theorists, international law scholars, economists and sociologists have turned their attention to the concept of world government. They have assessed the prospects for full global integration, and in many cases identified reasons to support it."

A main purpose of the workshop in Brisbane was to address "the challenges which stand in the way of the kinds of suprastate integration these researchers analyze or advocate, and the means by which global security, democracy, and justice could plausibly be advanced from present global circumstances." 

One of the seven sessions of the event was devoted to "the project of a world parliament and its role in global political integration." Speaking as a practitioner, the co-founder of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Andreas Bummel, said that "the creation of a global parliamentary body is the single most important element in any viable strategy to steer the process of global state formation. There are two reasons for this," he added. "First, a global parliament constitutes an indispensable feature of the institutional architecture of full global political integration. Second, a parliamentary body may also be the key force and cultural innovation that is required to advance successive political integration at the global scale."

Other presentations revolved mainly around the desirability, extent, and realization of a world state from an academic perspective. Among other things there was a vivid discussion on the definition and main characteristics of a state in general and a world state in particular. It was also debated whether the European integration process and the development of the European Parliament actually constitute good examples.

Presenters included, among others, Alexander Wendt of The Ohio State University, Daniel Deudney of Johns Hopkins University, Chris Hamer of the University of New South Wales, Joseph Preston Barattta of Worcester State University, Joel Trachtman of Tufts University, Shirley Scott of the University of New South Wales, Mark Beeson of The University of Western Australia, and Richard Shapcott of the University of Queensland.

According to Luis Cabrera, "it was a great first event for the network. It brought together some of the people who have been central to the resurgence in world government theorizing over the past two decades, as well as some key practitioners, world federalists and skeptics. We had a very productive dialogue, and we look forward to posting the presentations on the network's website, as well as getting some of the more theoretically oriented pieces out as a symposium in a peer-reviewed journal. Overall, I think this event was a powerful momentum builder for the network."

Website of the World Government Research Network