Global Governance: Harmonizing International Disconnect

The global governance notion seeks to examine gaps in the international system often regarding controversial matters and to engage participants in practical steps for collective problem-solving. The concept can be broadened to address matters of intercultural misconceptions and sectarianism.

Isolation projects judgement. Families generally believe isolation is the answer to raising responsible children. This includes restricting their physical activities, media sources, types of friends, etc. Underexposure, particularly at an early age, encourages habitual comfort, later transformed into tribal comfort. Tribalism is the behavior of interacting primarily with those of similar viewpoints and remaining loyal to the group and its respective compilation of beliefs. Within tribalism exists polarization. Sunstein addresses this concept in The Law of Group Polarization:

“Deliberation tends to move groups, and the individuals who compose them, toward a more extreme point in the direction indicated by their own predeliberation judgments. Group polarization helps to explain extremism, “radicalization,” cultural shifts, and the behavior of political parties and religious organizations; it helps account for feuds, ethnic antagonism, and tribalism.”

Tribalism and its polarization effect induce the hatred and separation that exists between cultures. The behavior of tribalism encourages people to isolate themselves in their comfort zone. Upon being surrounded by likeminded people, their passion feeds off each other, leading to dangerously polarized groups of people. The farther these trends continue, the less likely members are to abandon them. Therefore, concerns regarding tribalism must be addressed at an early age.

A child’s first tribe is their family. Typically initiated by parents, children consider new concepts outright wrong. Though seemingly an irrelevant issue as children are immature, this mindset follows as mental development continues, and requires experiences of great significance to overcome. Parenting which welcomes the idea that those with contradictory views are not wrong, but different, is ideal. Judgement in the early years is typically related to physical appearances or habits within a community. The narrow mindset is carried over to international perception once global knowledge is developed. Criticizing others becomes typical after engaging in it extensively during development. This is when issues of discrimination become most prominent. Resulting from society’s lack of effort, people are regularly misinformed about other tribal customs. The attention economy’s relevance in these issues is growing. With increased opportunity at the tip of the fingertips, reading and listening has less appeal. Millennials often prefer to understand the world through travel rather than accept media as fact. Therefore, venues of learning may be augmented by increasing travel opportunities. This ought to be capitalized on, considering the media’s unscrupulous system effectively forms imprecise viewer preconceptions. Travel is conceivable for many – for those with citizenship in trusted countries and financial stability. The visa application process limits others from travelling to countries with strict visa enforcements, such as the United States. Without open borders, many are unable to nullify their preconceptions, and underexposure remains unsolved.

Originally set up to end wars with neighbors, the European Union exists as a unified trade and monetary body of 28 member countries. Its purpose exceeds the overarching goal, offering many benefits to citizens of the member countries. Being born in a fortunate country ought not make an individual further worthy of the opportunities in that country. The EU amplifies and diversifies the job and education opportunities for members, especially those residing in underprivileged countries. The Erasmus Programme is an EU student exchange program, which streamlines study abroad for Europeans, leading a smooth process. Through this program students are encouraged to travel to another country to pursue studies. It is because good relations between European countries are upheld that this is possible. Each year, two European cities are chosen as Europe’s cultural capitals, offering an extra boost to local economies, and putting the spotlight on local artists and the city’s unique cultural wealth. Though a marginally small effort, the symbolism of the act is prominent – encouraging municipal and mind growth. Borders between member countries are open, and citizens are free to work, travel, and reside in any of the 28 nations. It must be noted that though often possible, it is not guaranteed that people are able to stay in an outside country for an indefinite period. All efforts previously mentioned aid in participating nations’ diversification and familiarity.

A similar intergovernmental organization, The United Nations, exists to regulate peace and security. Their power permits them to act on issues regarding amity, security, climate change, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, sustainable development, disarmament, human rights, gender equality, governance, food production and more. An annually held forum enables dialogue among committee members and permits negotiations to reach a consensus or to resolve a problem proposed by one of the 193 member states. This allows all members to give the people a voice, the first step toward global governance. However, the efforts previously mentioned are only enforced when exploitation is necessary. Engaging in informative initiatives to advance unbiased international knowledge through the UN, or a similar coalition, is ideal considering the organization is respected for its lack of bias.

Though profoundly theoretical, this seemingly unimaginable concept can be initiated by mirroring the Model United Nations, or MUN. The MUN unites secondary education and university students to engage in research, writing, and proper debate to voice their respective nation’s concerns, and together address the matters in each nation’s best interest. Modeling this conference for global governance allows all nations to present their voice. Representatives can address the misconceptions they believe others have on their national news. Action items in effort to eliminate the knowledge gaps can be discussed. Other national representatives can take initiative and inform their respective countries on those global misconceptions. This forum can serve to further define this concept of governance and additional strategies that may be useful during these collaborations.

Everyone is a victim of some prejudice, and everyone is in some form an instigator. Hatred is perpetuated by all individuals, some more aggressive than others. Change is necessary for the discriminators who limit their own experiences and for the victims who cannot defend themselves. To solve this problem, it must first be recognized that everyone is guilty. After acknowledging this, the matter must be solved collectively. If the world demands an end to discrimination, the world must resign from its global disconnect. The answer is global governance: a means of bridging nations in an effort to harmonize international disconnect.