The World Federalist Institute
The World Federalist Institute promotes debate, discussion, and the sharing of innovative ideas on the principles of federalism and their applicability to contemporary and long-range global governance challenges. Through its select body of Fellows, the Institute demonstrates how various changes in the structures of international organizations can empower the UN to more adequately protect human rights and prevent war between countries and also within countries. It also shows how the world community can combat extreme poverty and slow climate change by taking binding decisions at the local level as one does with nations. As world federalists WFI advocates institutions and practices tending toward democratic global governance within the United Nations and other global bodies, with the support of networks of civil society organizations.
The Institute's fellows explore contemporary and anticipated developments in global governance in the coming decades. They offer structural recommendations in each of GlobalSolutions.org's program areas: preventing war, law and justice, human rights, and the United Nations system. In addition to ongoing semi-formal conversations on U.S. foreign policy and the applicability of federalism in global governance, the Institute presents advisory proposals to CGS' Boards. One project explored the continued viability of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on which we released an interim report in 2007.
The Institute has also hosted open discussion panels and workshops at CGS's annual forums. Topics included the viability of weighted voting proposals, Southern perspectives on global issues, development of the ICC and enforcement norms, and how to bring the responsibility to protect norm to specific situations such as that in Syria.
Institute Fellows identify and produce innovative proposals to policy global governance challenges being explored by GlobalSolutions.org and other leaders research groups. Our current Fellows include:
|Jim Barton||Thomas Camarella,Esq.||Joshua Cooper|
|Dr. Tad Daley||Stephen Damours||Larry Michael David|
|Troy Davis||Bob Flax||Dr. Ron Glossop|
|Robert Herbst||Didier Jacobs||Dr. Robert Johansen|
|Myron Kronisch||David Lionel||Dr. Genevieve Marcus|
|Dr. Colette Mazzucelli||Bob McKelvey||Saul Mendlovitz, Esq.|
|Debbie Metke||Donna Park||Suzanne Pearce|
|Dr. Joseph Schwartzberg||Dr. Jane Shevtsov||Hank Stone|
|Andrew Strauss, Esq.||Betty Taylor||Ben Urmston, SJ|
|Barbara Walker||Lucy Law Webster||Chuck Woolery|
Brief biographical sketches of the Fellows can be found here.
Federalism and Global Governance
The Institute substantiates the importance of effective international decision-making and action to address contemporary policy challenges of global governance that GlobalSolutions.org's predecessor organizations pioneered and promoted for decades.
One such policy principle involves the use of federal and quasi-federal structures in building regional unions and getting intergovernmental organizations to extend their efficacy by providing structure for democratic accountability and legal responsibility in regional and sub-regional governance. Federalism leads to decisions and actions at the optimum level. It takes account of the interdependence of groups of nations while preserving their autonomy and respecting the importance of subsidiarity to address problems at the appropriate level of government.
Federal structures can improve economic integration, global justice, and collective security by affecting governments and also specific persons. The International Criminal Court and the European Court of Human Rights demonstrate the responsibility of the individual citizen. Both these institutions exemplify global federalist structures, in that they exercise direct jurisdiction over individuals.
Thus the Security Council no longer needs to take military action against a whole nation when it is possible to apprehend an individual or group of individuals who are violating the norms of international law. The International Criminal Court may indict and prosecute an accused person whenever the relevant national judicial system is unable or unwilling to act. Likewise, regular direct elections to the supranational European Parliament allow European citizens to hold accountable individual policymakers and bureaucrats.
The above examples illustrate the applicability of federalist principles for global governance. They also illustrate the focus of discussions and publications by many of the Institute's members. Fellows identify emerging global concerns. They then propose to Board members innovative policy and institutional solutions such as recommendations for new international norms, the development of regional or multilateral structures, and the establishment of entirely new global institutions.
About the Institute
The World Federalist Institute promotes discussion and review of proposals on the applicability of federalism to contemporary global governance. Through its select body of Fellows, policy experts and CGS staff, the Institute promotes innovative solutions to many of the fundamental challenges facing the world today.
The Global Citizen
A blog by GlobalSolutions.org
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Contact the Institute
For more information on the Institute's current projects or to submit a proposal for review, contact
Submission or acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee its consideration by the Institute, fellows or GlobalSolutions.org. Proposals may be submitted by individuals other than the original author but must acknowledge the source and, where possible, contact information for the author. All efforts will be made to acknowledge submissions, but cannot be guaranteed.