Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston


pg. 10: Multidimensionality, rather than multilateralism alone, is the strategy that emerges from the work of the Global Redesign process for achieving a breakthrough in progress on global warming. It is also the approach proposed to achieve much stronger results on several other critical global challenges, including Oceans, Education, Nuclear Proliferation, Health, and Employment and Social Protection.


Readers' Guide Comment on “Multidimensionality, rather than multilateralism alone, is the strategy that emerges from the work of the Global Redesign process …”

The concept of ‘multidimensionality’ is not fully developed in the report. It appears that it is introduced here to provide a way to describe multiple, independent actions in a variety of international forums, as if in aggregate all these autonomous efforts would solve a global crisis.

The introduction of the term might also be seen as a variant expression for opt-in-opt-outism in global governance. For example, during the Copenhagen climate conference, a select group of countries declared their own greenhouse emission goals and made independent, voluntary commitments toward meeting this goal, even if the multidimensional approach, the Copenhagen Accord, did not involve all the participants in the conference.  

For the GRI, this laissez-faire approach, while inconsistent with the stated goal of more globally efficient management, might actually help reassure some less-willing global Actors of the legitimacy of a GRI-designed global system. Multidimensionality might be the Harry Potter invisible umbrella that permits some observers to see a solution to a global issue without having to take on actual commitments to make something ‘real’ happen.

Related Ideas: Key third building block; Step One; Governance by volunteering; Opt-in-Opt-outism; Multi-stakeholder governance; Multi-stakeholderism

The Readers' Guide welcomes comments with alternative examples or counter examples, supplemental assessments of the extracted GRI text or commentary – critical or otherwise – of the above interpretation of GRI’s perspective.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.