Global Governance

Project Leaders
2017 to Present

The project on Global Governance investigates how power is exercised in the global order by and over global institutions, states, non-state actors, and individuals. There are currently three subprojects: Norms in Global Governance, the UN Veto Initiative, and Equity in Pandemic Health Governance.


Norms in Global Governance: This normative research on global governance asks: “How ought the world be governed?” It combines a defense of the values that ought to lay at the foundation of the global order with attention to desired global institutional reform. Following other global republican accounts, this work understands freedom as the absence of domination, which is the unrestrained and also potential exercise of power or control. It advocates for the adoption of freedom as non-domination as a global political ideal; in other words, as the standard by which interactions among global actors, and between global and domestic actors, are judged. It then asks which actors ought to take on tasks of global governance and which global institutional framework is best suited to enhance individuals’ freedom as non-domination. The foreign policy of the state is both a valuable expression of citizens’ joint self- determination and a form of domination over others. This work thus considers the permissible scope of independent foreign policy as a separate question.

UN Veto Initiative: In April 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the so-called ‘Veto Initiative’ under Resolution A/RES/76/262, which establishes a standing mandate for a UNGA meeting any time one or more of the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) cast a veto. At this meeting, the UNGA debates the situation as to which the veto was cast, with the member or members who cast the veto invited to speak first on the matter. In 2023, the Institute organized its first annual simulation of the UN veto initiative in order to test scenarios for its application the implications for the possibility of action in the UNGA and the UNSC, as well as the relationship between the two bodies. In the coming years, LISD will continue to pay close attention to the impacts of the veto initiative, including via additional simulations.

Equity in Pandemic Health Governance: The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare some of the inequities in the current patchwork of regulations for access to and distribution of vaccines and medicines. In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) is negotiating a global treaty/instrument on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, and a parallel process is taking place at the UN in New York. In addition, the WHO is preparing the framework for a Medical Countermeasures Platform that will coordinate and potentially help implement equitable access to future pandemic-related medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics. In collaboration with the Global Health Impact’s Pandemic Equity Working Group, the Institute is organizing a workshop in late Fall 2023 to outline policy priorities and proposals for overcoming IP barriers in the pending processes.

 Jimmy Bement, Seyoung Choung, and TJ Eyerman are research assistants for the subproject on norms in global governance.