Current research projects

  • Research interests

  • China and Global Governance

  • Politics of Inequality in Japan
  • Global Financial Crisis
  • GMO Governance
  • Minerva's Rule

Minerva's Rule

Canadian, European and Japanese Leadership in Global Institution-Building is an edited book soon to be published.
The project stems from the observation of two important trends in international affairs since the late 1990s. The first trend is an expansion of multilateral institution-building into new arenas. While the post-war period saw the creation of effective global institutions in the field of economic cooperation and development (IMF, World Bank, WTO), security (disarmament treaties), and human rights (beginning with the International Declaration of Human Rights contained in the UN Charter), the 1990s and 2000s have seen the expansion of this trend into the arenas of environment, human security, and human rights and culture. The development of these international institutions includes formal legal treaties, codes of conducts, and norms and practices that shape behavior.

The second trend is a new political pattern in the creation of these institutions. To the surprise of many, as the US decided that institution-building beyond the realms of economy (trade, finance) and hard security (anti-terrorism, non-proliferation) was not in its interest and should be halted, other national and supranational actors joined forces to construct new institutions. This construction continued unabated despite not only US opposition, but despite the reluctance of other powers like the BRIC countries and especially China. In the cockpit driving the continued trend, one can find what we call “Minervian powers”; in particular, an emergent European Union aiming to project a new common identity, a transforming Japan, and a Canada forcefully dedicated to multilateralism. Under the label of Minervian powers, we refer to a group of advanced industrial democracies with significant economic and military clout, yet also a strong commitment to multilateralism and norm construction. With this conceptualization we go beyond Kagan (2003)’s dichotomy (“Europeans are from Venus, Americans are from Mars”). Minerva represents a group of like-minded states that support the creation of credible and binding institutions, possibly backed by a limited but creative use of force

The full prospectus is available in pdf form here: Minerva_prospectus (pdf)

 


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