Six treatments of global ruling power/governance and prospects for the future: an overview*

Dennis R. Morgan
  • foresight, April 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/fs-01-2015-0005

Six Treatments of Global Ruling Power/Governance

What is it about?

As guest editor, I provide an overview/summary of the six papers that appeared in the 2015 special edition of "Who Rules the World?"

Why is it important?

The aim of the paper is to test and explore the hypothesis of global ruling power, as well as review the six approaches featured in the special edition on global governance/ruling power. Anthropological and historical records are presented as support for the emergence of ruling power in society; moreover, evidence of global ruling governance/power is reviewed in the six papers featured in the special edition. Alternatives for global governance are reviewed in two papers, while four papers present evidence in support of the thesis of the emergence of a transnational ruling power/class. Since global ruling power exists informally and surreptitiously, the exact mechanisms of control are difficult to delineate, especially due to the fact that the Powers That Be spend much effort to block research into this area; however, this special edition opens up a promising area for new research efforts into global ruling power and the potential for global democracy. Practical implications, though minimal in the short-term, increase as awareness grows and policy alternatives are considered for the transition to a long-term, democratic global future. Once social consciousness grows about the non-democratic, authoritarian nature of global ruling power/elite, the more the momentum will grow for reforms in the direction of global democracy and a sustainable and equitable global system, politically, economically, and ecologically. This paper represents a relatively new area for further research into global futures. Futurists, political scientists, and sociologists should find it valuable.


Professor Dennis R. Morgan
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

As guest editor I was enthused by the collection of papers featured since all six authors hail from a diversity of origins in a number of ways (e.g., North/South, global governance/ruling power, futurist/non-futurist, male/female), yet at the same time, one could observe a notably cohesive quality to the responses to Bernd Hamm's original study published in Futures; we were fortunate enough to have cohesiveness in the midst of diversity. Thus, the special edition begins with three voices from the South primarily from futurists concerned about the “official” forms of global governance – to those who are primarily non-futurists, focusing more on the identification and composition of the emerging “unofficial” global ruling power/class. Indeed, it was an honor and pleasure to work with prominent scholars such as Bernd Hamm, Jerry Harris, and Georgina Murray on this important research question. Moreover, Johan Galtung provided a wonderful, poetic commentary.

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