A Career in Global Governance


Global governance institutions exist to examine gaps in the international system for managing complex issues and to engage stakeholders on collective problem-solving. This multilateral approach has its challenges, as developing a global framework on any of these matters requires a level of cooperation across state and non-state actors that is hard to achieve and implement.

As issues become more and more transnational in nature and scope - climate change, terrorism, cybersecurity and cyberspace, arm proliferation, public health etc. – it is evident that no single actor can adequately address them on its own. A career in this league has the potential of being one with tremendous impact on world issues, making it well worth exploring within the scope of international relations.  

The following is a list of international institutions organised by topic that offer the perfect platform to developing a career in Global Governance.  

Climate Change

Climate change is arguably one the most pressing issues facing the world today. With over 90% of actively engaged climatologists agreeing that rising temperature is largely due to human activity, coming to terms with the risks of a warmer planet has never been more important. The dangers associated with climate change are numerous and all-encompassing, from rising sea levels, violent weather patterns, desertification, water shortages, famine to disastrous social consequences such as climate migration and conflict. The following list of intergovernmental organisations is a good start to exploring this important topic.

  •  Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) - A scientific body of experts that summarises peer reviewed literature and reports on climate change and its consequences. Led by governments, the IPCC provides rigorous and balanced scientific information to policymakers while maintaining a politically-neutral stance.

  • International Energy Agency (IEA) - An autonomous intergovernmental organisation, the IEA advocates policies that enhances the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy resources. The agency’s mandate focuses on energy security, economic development, and environmental protection.

  • United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) - A specialised UN agency that coordinates environmental activities and assists developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.

  • International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) - A global network of environmental compliance and enforcement practitioners from over 120 countries, dedicated to developing networks for enforcement cooperation in environmental protection.

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - An international non-governmental organisation working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment.

  • Greenpeace (GP) - An international organisation dedicated to preserving endangered species of animals and preventing environmental abuses.


Crime and Terrorism

As the world economy globalised, so did its illegal counterpart. The global impact of transnational crimes has risen to record levels. Criminal organisations have access to new technologies and sophisticated horizontal network structures that are difficult to identify as activities continue to broaden. The following organisations are dedicated to reducing and managing the growth of crime and international terror.

  • International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) - The world’s largest international police organisation with 194 member countries. In an effort to maintain neutrality, Interpol’s work focuses mainly on transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, money laundering, organised crime etc.

  • International Criminal Court (ICC) - An intergovernmental organisation and international tribunal with the mandate to prosecute individuals for the gravest crimes of concern to the international community including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

  • Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) - An intergovernmental organisation that addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, human rights, national minorities, democratisation, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating states enjoy equal status and decisions are taken by consensus on a political, but non-binding basis.

  • Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - An inter-governmental body that sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. 


Conflict and Development

Preventing conflicts, maintaining peace and leading post-war development efforts remains one of the biggest challenges faced by the international community as a whole. Wars and conflicts constitute a global concern as instability in one state often triggers unrest and violence across borders with disastrous social, economic and environmental consequences. The following organisations focuses on this very issue at the heart of global governance.

  • International Crisis Group - Independent organisation working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world. The ICG engages directly with a range of conflict actors to seek and share information, and to encourage intelligent action for peace.

  • Transparency International - The purpose of this nonprofit organisation is to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption. It is known to publish the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perceptions Index that is used as a benchmark for many global policy decisions.

  • International Alert - With a strong community-based approach, International Alert works with those who are affected by conflict. Their programs focus on sustainable change in the perception and attitude of communities towards each other, as well as influencing policy that sustains lasting peace.

  • Search for Common Ground - This international non-profit operates in over 30 countries working with communities to create shared solutions to potentially conflictive situations. Their three pillars are dialogue, media, and community.

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - A think tank forum that discusses economic policy and monitors, analyses, and forecasts global economic trends. The OECD provides an arena for experts and member nations to discuss best practices for development in fragile and conflict-prone states with an aim to reduce poverty and offer relief assistance.

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) - The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation, exchange rate stability, and temporary financial assistance for countries facing balance-of-payments problems. The organisation also provides post-conflict countries with emergency assistance loans, advice, and technical support for reconstructing government institutions.