The future(s) of global governance: A scenarios exercise

Angel Saz-Carranza, Enrique Rueda-Sabater, Marie Vandendriessche, Carlota Moreno, Jacint Jordana

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Pervasive uncertainty has stretched the fabric of global governance to its limit. The shape and form of future global governance is far from clear – yet we need to explore how it may play out, so that we can not only prepare for it but also overcome possible pernicious trajectories. Scenario thinking can be used to rigorously explore different possible outcomes. In this article, we present an exercise applying scenario thinking to global governance. These scenarios should help policymakers to understand which policies may or may not work in the diverse possible futures. They may also help policymakers to consider how their organisation, state, or institution could be affected if the global governance of a specific issue evolves in one direction or another. Civil society members or private companies may want to probe how robust their strategies would be in different global governance configurations. The article synthetically presents key contextual premises and uncertainties which are given as follows: four broad scenarios for the world in 2035; four corresponding scenarios for global governance; and scenarios for the global governance of four macro-sectors: trade, security, climate change, and finance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


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