The Public and the Private in Global Governance – Barcelona Workshop January 2015

BCNWGGBarcelona Workshop on Global Governance

The Public and the Private in Global Governance

15 & 16 January 2015 – IBEI & ESADEGeo

Call for Papers

Global governance is constructed by both public and private actors. Governments have created international institutions and transgovernmental networks; companies have established self-regulatory structures; civil society and business organizations have been active in norm-setting and monitoring. They have joined forces in various hybrid organizations, which collaborate and compete with each other, and all perform functions in the many regulatory spaces that include institutions and actors of various origins. At the same time, many privately-created bodies claim to provide public goods, while many institutions of public origin are criticized for pursuing private gains or for being strongly influenced by private interests. As a result, the boundaries between public and private in global governance have become blurred, and the classical public/private distinction – central to structuring our understanding of domestic government – is under increasing pressure. On this background, the 2015 Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance asks how ‘the public’ and ‘the private’ are related in current structures of global governance. Key questions involve:

  • Does it make sense to maintain a distinction between public and private authority, and if so, how ought ‘publicness’ to be reformulated for the global sphere? What could take the place of the public/private distinction for structuring accounts of legitimacy and accountability in global governance?
  • Do the authority and legitimacy of global governance, both normatively and sociologically, depend on the ‘publicness’ of its institutions?
  • How do institutions (including privately-created ones) generate, or seek to generate, ‘publicness’ in their rhetoric, procedures and accountability mechanisms, and with what success?
  • How do private actors, both national and transnational, participate in global governance regimes? What patterns of interaction exist between privately- and publicly-created institutions?
  • What success can the construction of a ‘global public law’ as a law of global governance have?

The Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance is a venue for the study of global governance – its structure, effects, and problems – from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together scholarship from international relations, law, sociology, anthropology, political theory, public administration and history. Its 3rd edition will be held on 15 & 16 January 2015 in Barcelona. Confirmed practitioner speakers include Narcis Serra (former Spanish Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister) and Javier Solana (former NATO Secretary General and EU High Representative for Common and Foreign Security Policy). Confirmed academic keynote speakers include Andrew Hurrell (University of  Oxford) and Jonas Tallberg (Stockholm University).

We invite abstract proposals from interested scholars from all disciplines. Proposals should not exceed 500 words in length. Preferred format for all submissions is PDF. Please send your proposal as an attachment to and insert “Submission: Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance” as the subject line of themessage. The deadline for abstracts is 29 September 2014. All proposals will undergo peer review and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 22 October 2014. Full papers are expected to be delivered by 8 January 2014 for circulation among participants. More information on the workshop, also on previous editions, is available here.