Globalization has altered the nature of politics and power relations within and outside the nation State. It has diminished the strategic importance of States, failed to increase the instruments of action available to the UN but has given a global voice to civil society and a central economic and often political role to transnational corporations and financial institutions.
The emergence of new participants has changed the way in which the private and public sectors interact. In particular, Foundations and related non-profit institutions have come to exercise a new role in the traditional division of labour between private and public. By redirecting capital accumulation benefits into the financing of intangibles these institutions have expanded the frontiers of the public realm, introduced global elements in national discussions and are vital in setting the framework for a global public goods agenda. The range and scope of action of foundations vary. Some, as the Italian Bank Foundations, obtained their resources territorially and allocate them glocally, contributing to the local agenda by changing the parameters of capital distribution. Others, large American and European Foundations have already bypassed their own territory and having become independent from their original source of capital accumulation have been transformed into global players both at home and abroad.
The increase in the range of influence and potential reach of these new global players, has not been matched by mechanism of accountability or new instruments of political action at a global level which reflect the changed nature of politics and power relations. A gap emerges between the capacity to influence and effectively shape decisions regarding existing or alternative systems of governance.
Building on previous discussions, this session will review the meaning of the various institutional gaps and examine strategies and options which may increase innovation, accountability and strategic policy options for a governance agenda.