Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Civil Society, Corporations, and Local Authorities (MIPA 2017)

Non-State Actors in Global Governance: Civil Society, Corporations, and Local Authorities


LUISS – School of Government

MIPA (Master in International Affairs)


Instructor: Raffaele Marchetti


Academic Year: 2017



Course Description:

It is now widely recognised that non state actors plays a significant role in global governance. In the last 30 years, and especially after the end of the Cold War, the presence of civil society organizations (CSOs), multinational corporations (MNCs) and local authorities in international affairs has become increasingly relevant. They have played a role in agenda setting, international law-making and governance, transnational diplomacy (tracks II and III), and the implementation and monitoring of a number of crucial global issues ranging from trade to development and poverty reduction, from democratic governance to human rights, from peace to the environment, and from security to the information society. They have thus been significant international actors as advocates for policy solutions, service providers, knowledge brokers, or simply watchdogs and monitors of state and intergovernmental actions. This course is divided in two parts: the first part will examine the particular political constellation produced by the combination of institutional backing, socio-economic processes, technological innovation, and the dominance of a specific political ideology within which this global activism has taken place. The second part will examine more closely the actions of each of these actors.



 Course Methodology:

Classes will consist primarily of seminar discussions, involving both short lectures by the professor and discussion with the students. All students are expected to prepare the required literature of each seminar in advance and be ready to engage in a critical discussion with each other and with the instructor. Critical remarks on the reading are always welcome. The first seminar, introduced by the instructor, will be used for clarifying the aims of the course. The last class of the course will be devoted to the discussion of the strategy papers prepared by the students.




The students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, the strategy paper presentation and subsequent submission. The student will be expected to participate actively in class discussions, and must be able to discuss the main ideas presented in the required readings. Students will defend publicly a jointly-prepared strategy paper.

The final evaluation will thus consist in the aggregation of the single assessments as the following:

  • Strategy paper (80%) (20% oral + 60% written)
  • Participation in class discussion (20%)


ECTS grading(MES / MIPA) Numerical grading in % Description
A+ 96 – 100 Outstanding
A 91 – 95 Excellent
A- 86 – 90 Very good
B+ 81 – 85 Good
B 76 – 80
B- 71 – 75 Satisfactory
C+ 66 – 70
C 61 – 65 Pass
C- 56 – 60 Resubmit
D < 55 Fail



Course Schedule and Readings:



Session 1 – Multi track global governance


Session 2 – Transnational Civil Society in Global Politics


Session 3 – Multinational Corporations in Global Politics


Session 4 – Local Authorities in Global Politics


Session 5 – Discussion Strategy Papers


 Session 1 – Multi Track Global Governance


Required readings:

Cooper, A. F., & Hocking, B. (2000). Governments, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Recalibration of Diplomacy. Global Society, 14(3), 361-376.

Tarrow, S. (2001) ‘Transnational Politics: Contention and Institutions in International Politics’, Annual Review of Political Science 4: 1-20.


Recommended readings:

Alemanno, A. (2014). Stakeholder engagement in regulatory policy. Paris: OECD (GOV/RPC(2014)14/ANN2).

Cerny, P. G. (2010). Rethinking World Politics: A Theory of Transnational Neopluralism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Khanna, P. (2011). How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance. New York: Random House.

Tilly, C. (2001) ‘Mechanisms in Political Processes’, Annual Review of Political Science 4: 21-41.



Session 2 – Transnational Civil Society in Global Politics


Required readings:

Marchetti, R. (2009) Mapping Alternative Models of Global Politics. International Studies Review 11 (1): 133-156.

Price, R. (2003) ‘Transnational Civil Society and Advocacy’, World Politics 55 (4): 579-607.

Reiman, K. (2006). A View from the Top: International Politics, Norms, and the Worldwide Growth of NGOs. International Studies Quarterly, 50, 45-67.


Recommended readings:

African Development Bank. (1999). Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations. Policy and Guidelines. Abidjan: African Development Bank

Anheier, H., and Katz, H. (2005) Network Approach to Global Civil Society. In Helmut Anheier, Marlies Glasius and Mary Kaldor (eds.), Global Civil Society Yearbook 2004/5. London: Sage, pp. 206-221.

Asal, V., Nussbaum, B., & Harrington, D. W. (2007). Terrorism as Transnational Advocacy: An Organizational and Tactical Examination. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 30(1), 15-39.

Bhagwati, J. (2002). Coping With Anti-Globalization: A Trilogy of Discontents, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 81(1), Jan-Feb

Busby, J. W. (2007). Bono Made Jesse Helms Cry: Jubilee 200, Debt Relief, and Moral Action in International Politics. International Studies Quarterly, 51(2), 247-275.

Charnovitz, S. (1997). Two Centuries of Participation: NGOs and International Governance. Michigan Journal of International Law, 18(2), 183-286.

Clinton, H. R. (2010). Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development. Foreign Affairs, 89(6), 13-24.

FAO. (1999). FAO Policy and Strategy for Cooperation with Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organizations. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Finnemore, M., and Sikkink, K. (1998) International Norms Dynamics and Political Change. International Organization 52 (4): 887-917.

Gary, I. (1996). Confrontation, Cooperation or Cooptation: NGOs and the Ghanaian State during structural Adjustment. Review of African Political Economy, 23(68), 149-168.

Gerard, K. (2014). ASEAN’s Engagement of Civil Society: Regulating Dissent. London: Palgrave.

Held, D., and McGrew, A. (2002) Globalization/Anti-Globalization. Cambridge: Polity, chapter 8.

Henderson, S. L. (2002). Selling Civil Society: Western Aid and the Nongovernmental Organization Sector in Russia. Comparative Political Studies, 35(March), 139-167.

Hsu, C. (2010). Beyond Civil Society: An Organizational Perspective on State–NGO Relations in the People’s Republic of China. Journal of Civil Society, 6(3), 259-277.

Marchetti, R. (2013). Civil Society, Global Governance, and the Quest for Legitimacy. Forth. in M. Telò (Ed.), Globalization, Europe, Multilateralism. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Marchetti, R. (2013). Civil Society-Government Synergy and Normative Power Italy. The international Spectator, 48(4), 102-118.

Meyer, J. W., Boli, J., Thomas, G., and Ramirez, F. (1997) World Society and the Nation State. American Journal of Sociology 103 (1): 144-181.

Naim, M. (2007). What Is a GONGO? How government-sponsored groups masquerade as civil society. Foreign Policy, 170(18), 96-98.

Osterweil, M. (2005) ‘Place-based Globalism: Theorizing the Global Justice Movement’, Development 48 (2): 23-28.

Ottaway, M., & Carothers, T. (Eds.). (2000). Funding Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Pianta, M., and Marchetti, R. (2007) The Global Justice Movements: The Transnational Dimension. In Donatella della Porta (ed.), The Global Justice Movement: A Cross-National and Transnational Perspective. Boulder, CO: Paradigm, pp. 29-51.

Scholte, J. A. (2004) Civil Society and Democratically Accountable Global Governance. Government and Opposition 39 (2): 211-233.

Steger, M. B., & Wilson, E. K. (2012). Anti-Globalization or Alter-Globalization? Mapping the Political Ideology of the Global Justice Movement. International Studies Quarterly, 52(3), 439-454.

Steinberg, N. (2001). Background Paper on GONGOs and QUANGOs and Wild NGOs: World Federalist Movement

United Nations. (2004) We the Peoples: Civil Society, the United Nations and Global Governance (No. A/58/817/2004), New York: Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society Relations. Commission Cardoso.

US Dept of State. (2010) Leading Through Civilian Power. The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Washington, D.C: US Dept of State and USAID.

Wang, D. J., & Soule, S. A. (2012). Social Movement Organizational Collaboration: Networks of Learning and the Diffusion of Protest Tactics, 1960–1995. American Journal of Sociology, 117(6), 1674-1722.

Warf, B. (2011). Geographies of Global Internet Censorship. GeoJournal, 76(1), 1-23.

World Bank. (2003). Working Together. World Bank-Civil Society Relations. Washington, D.C: World Bank, Civil Society Team

World Trade Organization. (1996). Guidelines for arrangements on relations with Non-Governmental Organizations. Geneve: WTO, WT/L/162



Session 3 – Multinational Corporations in Global Politics


Required readings:

Orenstein, Mitchell A. (2008) Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 71-94 (chapter 4).

Sell, S., & Prakash, A. (2004). Using Ideas Strategically: The Contest Between Business and NGO Networks in Intellectual Property Rights. International Studies Quarterly, 48, 143-175.


Recommended readings :

Carroll, W. K., & Carson, C. (2003). Forging a New Hegemony? The Role of Transnational Policy Groups in the Network and Discourses of Global Corporate Governance. Journal of World-Systems Research, IX(1), 67-102.

Graz, J.-C. (2003). How Powerful are Transnational Elites Clubs? The Social Myth of the World Economic Forum. New Political Economy, 8(3), 321-340.

Fougner, T. (2008). Corporate Power In World Politics: The Case Of The World Economic Forum. The Journal of International Trade and Diplomacy, 2(2), 97-134.

Kastner, L. (2013). Transnational Civil Society and the Consumer-friendly Turn in Financial Regulation. Paris: MaxPo Discussion Paper 13/2. Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies

Katzenstein, P. J., & Brake, B. T. (2013). Lost in Translation? Non-State Actors and the Transnational Movement of Procedural Law. International Organization, 67(4).

Murphy, C. N., & Yates, J. (2011). ISO 26000, Alternative Standards, and the “Social Movement of Engineers” Involved with Standard-Setting. In S. Ponte, P. Gibbon & J. Vestergaard (Eds.), Governing Through Standards: Origins, Drivers, and Limitations (pp. 159-183). Basingstoke: Palgrave.



Session 4 – Local Authorities in Global Politics


Required readings:

Palermo, F. (2007). ” The Foreign Policy of Italian Regions: Not Much Ado About Something?” The international Spectator 42(2): 197-207.

Van Der Pluijm, R. and J. Melissen (2007). City Diplomacy: The Expanding Role of Cities in International Politics. Clingendael Diplomacy paper 10. The Hague, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael.


Recommended readings :

Acuto, M. (2010). “Global Cities: Gorillas in Our Midst.” Alternatives 35(4): 425-448.


Aldecoa, F. and M. Keating (1999). Paradiplomacy in Action: The Foreign Relations of Subnational Governments. Cass Series in Regional and Federal Studies. J. Loughlin. London, Routledge.


Lecours, A. (2002). “Paradiplomacy: Reflections on the Foreign Policy and International Relations of Regions.” International  Negotiation 7(1): 91-114.



Session 5 – Discussion Strategy Papers (MIPA)