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Governing Civilization through Civilizing Governance

Global challenge for a turbulent future (Part #1)

Prepared on the occasion of the 3rd Annual Conference organized by the Global Governance Group of the New School of Athens (NSOA): Theme: Making Global Governance Work: Lessons from the Past. Solutions for the Future (Athens, 2-5 April 2008). [In case of difficulties in printing/viewing this document, a PDF version may be more convenient]. Some arguments have been further developed in a sequel Towards Polyhedral Global Governance: complexifying oversimplistic strategic metaphors (2008)
Preamble: meta-themes
Contemporary "myths" governing the relationships of governance and civil society?
Civilizing governance vs Governance of civilization?
Potential response conventionally presented: "Thinking" and "Doing"
Challenge of governance: metaphorical impoverishment?
Cognitive challenges of governance
A necessarily questionable "open source" articulation ?
Integrative schematic: Resolutique and Problematique -- with Imaginatique and Irresolutique
Circular configuration of Thinking/Doing categories
Elaborating a richer "global identique"
Interdependence of governance / civil society initiatives

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Introduction: presentation sequence / structure

Consideration is first given, in a preamble, to the ways in which the challenges and opportunities of governance are explored -- seen as being fundamental to any improvement to the more obvious, frequently debated, issues of governance and civil society.

In Part A, this exploration first highlights a sets of "myths" governing the relationship between governance and civil society in a global context. It then notes a selection of past assessments of the challenges and status of non-state actors and relations to them and between them -- for the process of civilizing governance for the governance of civilization. This provides a context for a tabular checklist of 16 items of future "thinking" and "doing" in relation to governance.

In Part B, the probability is first highlighted that collective thinking regarding the future of governance, and the relations between organizations, is metaphorically impoverished in ways that inhibit the viable creativity that is increasingly essential. Consideration is then given to the cognitive challenges of governance in a knowledge-based society. However the present knowledge society is populated by a multiplicity of more or less definitive "models". What then follows is therefore most usefully considered as a "non-model" that highlights the design challenge of knowledge tools in support of governance that recognizes the interweaving dynamics of problematique, resolutique, imaginatique and irresolutique -- inspired by "open source" as a metaphor.

In Part C, an integrative schematic is then presented to hold resolutique and problematique together with imaginatique and irresolutique. This is then used to hold a circular representation of the tabular checklist in a simpler and more elaborate version. Their relevance to any global identique is then briefly discussed, prior to a tentative indication of the necessary interdependencies of the thinking/doing initiatives.

In Part D a detailed articulation of the contents of the tabular checklist (of Part A), with indication of relevant documents (containing their own checklists and appropriate references).

The considerations below follow from the author's former responsibility for the Yearbook of International Organizations, the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (from 1976) and development of their online databases -- through the Union of International Associations. This included development and maintenance of bibliographic databases on the problematique and resolutique, and included an International Organization Bibliography and Resources (from 1983). Web links to studies by the author in that context are used here as a means of elaborating specific arguments. [Whereas the following is a clustering from a governance perspective, a complementary clustering enphasizing a futures perspective is provided separately (Enabling Strategies for Viable Futures, 2009)].">Enabling Strategies for Viable Futures, 2009)].

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