Challenges Facing the Developing World in the 21st Century: Research and Practice in Global Governance

2019 Annual Conference of the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University

18-19 March 2019, Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish

A conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development

Today’s world is faced with increasingly complex challenges that transcend national boundaries and thus can only be addressed by engaging both global and local efforts. Current issues such as climate change, migration, democracy, corruption, and extreme poverty are both transnational and local. Neither international structures nor state-centric approaches are sufficient alone. Tackling current global challenges must inevitably include international structures as well as governments, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and civil society to achieve what none can accomplish on its own. There is thus a critical need to explore and design inclusive and coordinated forms of governance that span both local and global domains.

To attain this goal, researchers and practitioners must work together to develop original, insightful ideas and knowledge that will advance sustainable, inclusive development, and democratic governance. Interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research, combined with efforts by leaders from the international, public, private and non-profit sectors are necessary to understand and overcome the complexity of these fundamental global challenges.

In this context, the 2019 ISID annual conference brings together academics and practitioners to discuss and debate today's acute global challenges and priorities that require innovative governance solutions. The conference will focus on key questions that confront researchers and policy-makers seeking to solve governance problems and evaluate their impact.

The conference will be organized around three core questions reflecting current challenges in global governance:

  1. How do we harmonize local and global policy efforts to respond to pressing governance issues?
  2. How do actors and institutions evaluate legitimacy, accountability, and representation?
  3. How do we assess governance success and what mechanisms can we use to evaluate change?


Each question will be addressed through the following five thematic panels:

  1. Environment
  2. Corruption
  3. Democracy
  4. Refugees and Migration
  5. International Organizations and Development Policy