As emerging powers voice growing demands for reform of existing global governance structures, and Western powers try to resist the change, China’s new infrastructure investment bank, the AIIB, could offer the opportunity to ease the impasse. New and old powers alike face today a crossroads. China should demonstrate that its initiative could contribute to global provisions of public goods, while positively integrating within the present system. Western powers, and above all the US, should comprehend that change per se is neither good nor bad, and that it may indeed be inevitable; therefore, they should closely examine new projects and pressure for them to uphold high standards of implementation and decision-making processes. The convergence of important actors on such a path could effectively become the first step towards more equally shared responsibilities on the global level, that is, a ‘New Liberal Order’.
The paper concludes with a number of policy prescriptions for major actors, whose objective should be to find a viable way towards an enhanced and more balanced global governance.
Antonio Villafranca is Research Coordinator and Co-Head of the Europe and Global Governance Programme at ISPI. He is lecturer of International Relations and European economic policies at the Bocconi University - Milan and European policies at the IULM University - Milan