By Anne Marie Slaughter
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National and supranational officials participating in a full-fledged disaggregated world order would be accountable not only to specific national constituencies, but also to a hypothetical global polity. ”32 It is impossible to define the substance of that policy in the abstract. But the officials responsible should be guided by general “constitutional” norms in their relations with one another. In this context, I propose five basic principles designed to ensure an inclusive, tolerant, respectful, and decentralized world order.
Networks of specific national government officials—from environmental regulators to constitutional judges—can anchor broader networks of nonstate actors pursuing global agendas of various types while still retaining a distinct governmental character and specific government responsibilities to their constituents. They can expand regulatory reach far beyond the capacity of any one national government. They can bolster and support their members in adhering to norms of good governance at home and abroad by building trust, cohesion, and common purpose among their members.
They can enhance compliance with existing international agreements and deepen and broaden cooperation to create new ones. But this is only the beginning. Push the paradigm a few steps further and imagine the possibilities. A key identifying feature of current government networks is that they are necessarily informal. Their informality flows not only from the fluidity of networks as an organizational structure, but also, and much more importantly, from the conceptual blind spot that this book seeks to repair: separate government institutions have no independent or formally recognized status in international law and politics.