Workshop 2016

Adaptation and Change in Global Governance

4 & 5 February 2016 – ESADEgeo & IBEI, Barcelona


The world is changing, bIBEIut its institutions do not always change in the same way and at the same speed. Global governance institutions adapt and change in response to both internal and external stimuli, and they often also provoke changes in norms, structures and other actors. Much of the infrastructure of global governance—including intergovernmental organizations, international normative frameworks, and privately-created bodies—was created in the aftermath of World War II. In many cases, the mandates of intergovernmental organizations and private bodies have since expanded beyond recognition, budgets and staff numbers have multiplied, and legal frameworks have been extended and revised. In short, the world looks very different now from 70 years ago, and so too do the institutions of global governance. Still, many obserESADEgeovers decry a reluctance to change, even a gridlock. Against this background, the 2016 Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance asks how the institutions of global governance change – how they initiate and manage internal reforms, adapt in response to external stimuli, and provoke change in other institutions – and what limitations this change faces. Key questions include:

  • How do institutions adapt in response to external changes? Are some kinds of institution more adaptable than others? What determines their level of adaptability?
  • What are the main drivers of internal change in international organizations? How is such change resisted, accepted, and managed?
  • What role does individual leadership play in guiding change in global governance institutions?
  • How do global governance institutions provoke change in international norms, structures, and other actors?

The Barcelona Workshop on Global Governance is a venue for the study of global governance – its structure, effects, and problems – from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together scholars from international relations, law, sociology, anthropology, political theory, public administration and history. Its 4th edition will be held on 4 & 5 February 2016 in Barcelona.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Pascal Lamy (former Director-General of the World Trade Organization), Javier Solana (ESADEgeo’s president, former EU High Representative for CFSP and former NATO Secretary General), and David Held (Professor of Politics and International Relations, Durham University).


The workshop is organized by ESADEgeo (ESADE Business School’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics) and IBEI (Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals).

Organizing Committee:

  • Miriam Bradley, IBEI
  • Nico Krisch, IBEI & Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Angel Saz-Carranza, ESADEgeo