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Global Policy Institute

Beyond Gridlock: Pathways to Impact

This project builds on previous work of Professor Held (see: Impact Case Study 4.2.2 – “Gridlock”) and will be conducted in collaboration with Tom Hale at Oxford. It aims to identify the most plausible pathways through which gridlock – the current trend in international instructions leading to deadlock in many sectors of international concern - might be overcome, and to assess their potential and limitations against state-of-the art social scientific knowledge. While it is impossible to predict the future, the project aims to provide the most comprehensive and rigorous statement of what can be expected from global governance in the 21st century. By identifying key levers of change, it will also highlight strategies through which diverse actors—policymakers, activists, intellectuals, businesses, philanthropies, etc.—can push toward the best scenarios. The world’s op-ed pages are full of ideas and arguments for making progress on climate, financial reform, poverty alleviation, or any of the various global challenges we face. What is missing is a systematic evaluation of the various strategies for making progress across areas. What can we expect from social movements versus multilateral negotiations? Should we invest in social enterprise or in political reform in the major countries? Which of these various pathways offers the greatest prospects, and which are likely to remain circumscribed?