This interdisciplinary book investigates the problematization of global challenges in world politics by analyzing what they are and how they come to be.

Offering a conceptual framework, including four modes of construction—universalizing, bundling, upscaling, and creating urgency—this book provides a heuristic method for understanding how the process of rendering an issue a “global challenge” unfolds. It examines the role of the global challenges discourse, which may either reinforce or challenge the dominant orders of world politics, such as the capitalist market-based system and the liberal international order. As a consequence, the global challenges discourse facilitates the emergence of new actors and policy fields.

The book will be of interest to students, academics, and practitioners of global governance, international organizations, and, more broadly, international political economy and international relations.

part II|47 pages

Global challenges avant la lettre

chapter 2|22 pages

“Unequal treaties”

Challenging international order in the 1920s

chapter 3|23 pages

“Japan” and the global challenge of modernity

Constellations of social-scientific discourses on modernity in the twentieth century

part III|37 pages

Global challenges in the discursive arena

chapter 4|14 pages

Practices of global challenging

A historical perspective and preliminary typology

chapter 5|21 pages

Talking the challenges talk

Understanding the global challenges discourse's multiple meanings, or lack thereof

part IV|68 pages

Global challenges, nation-states, and multilevel governance

chapter 6|22 pages

States' framing of mass atrocity crimes

From introducing to preserving the responsibility to protect

chapter 7|18 pages

Constructing the challenge of governance in the Arctic

Colonial, alliance, and global concerns across time

part V|69 pages

Global challenges and international organizations