Global Governance Institute


Innovating Global Public Policy: Cross-Disciplinary Research and Collaboration

12 September 2018

What is global public policy and which theoretical, practical and normative issues does it raise? This Policy Brief addresses priorities for future cross-disciplinary research and practice.

Building the world

Report drafted by Julia Kreienkamp, UCL 

Theories of public policy have traditionally been based on the assumption that policies are developed and implemented by sovereign states, designed specifically for the territorially delineated national communities they govern. As the world becomes increasingly globalised and interconnected, these assumptions no longer hold. States are still key players but other sites of authority have emerged above, below, and alongside national spaces. Policy-makers’ spheres of influence do not always coincide territorially with regulatory targets (e.g. transnational businesses) and, in many issue areas, the boundaries between ‘policy-makers’ and ‘policy-takers’ have become increasingly blurred. Most importantly, global public goods challenges and ‘wicked’ transboundary problems such as climate change cannot be solved on the national level alone. 

A viable global public policy (GPP) delivery model is needed to respond to the most pressing challenges of our time. However, theoretically, GPP is not a well-established concept and, practically and normatively, it poses a number of complex challenges. In June 2018, the Global Governance Institute brought together colleagues across UCL for a workshop to explore GPP-relevant research agendas, identify gaps of knowledge and opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchange, and discuss priorities for future research and policy. This report serves as a summary of the workshop, which was supported by the UCL Global Engagement Office and UCL Public Policy.

To access the full report: