The Global Compact's Contribution to Global Governance Revisited

Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg Discussion Paper No. 2007-10

19 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2007

See all articles by Johanna Brinkmann-Braun

Johanna Brinkmann-Braun

Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

Ingo Pies

Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Date Written: June 2007


The United Nations Global Compact (GC) is an international learning network that links companies with United Nations agencies, labour and civil society. Neither a regulatory regime nor a voluntary code of industry conduct, it is a unique contribution to the process of global governance, where the traditional rules of the political game are being challenged by the introduction of new actors and new methods of political coordination in the political arena. As a first step, this paper examines the origins, mission and objectives of the initiative and relates them to the current organizational structure. As a second step, the progress on organizational and collective learning through the GC is explored. Here, the paper illustrates how the revised organizational structure has helped to improve both organizational and collective learning efforts. However, the potential of the GC's local networks has apparently still not been fully exploited. In summary, the innovative, incomparable and flexible opportunities of the GC's engagement mechanisms appear to simultaneously be the major strength and chief weakness of the initiative. The paper concludes that the future success or failure of the GC will hinge upon the initiative's ability to make substantial progress in quantitative (number of participating companies) and qualitative (value of participation) terms.

Keywords: United Nations, Global Compact, Learning, Organization

JEL Classification: A13, A33, D02, D71, D78, D83, F23, F53, F55, M14

Suggested Citation

Brinkmann-Braun, Johanna and Pies, Ingo, The Global Compact's Contribution to Global Governance Revisited (June 2007). Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg Discussion Paper No. 2007-10, Available at SSRN: or

Johanna Brinkmann-Braun (Contact Author)

Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg ( email )


Ingo Pies

Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg ( email )

Grosse Steinstrasse 73
Halle/Saale, DE Saxony-Anhalt 06108
+49 0 345 55 23420 (Phone)


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