I think EAs should pay attention to the world federalist movement, as it's recently been gaining traction and offers a promising approach to global governance.
According to the Young World Federalists' website:
- 🖐️ Federalism is a means of achieving a balance between unity and diversity by vertically separating powers. The sovereignty of the world federation originates from the sovereignty of humanity.
- 🧭 Decisions and responsibilities should be distributed to the lowest level of government at which they can be effectively addressed. This principle of subsidiarity ensures that power stays as close to the people as possible.
- 🔵 A global federation would not replace sovereign nations: these would continue to deal with national issues. A world federation would complement national sovereignty over national issues with an additional, global layer of governance for a clearly defined set of global issues.
- 🗳️ A world federation derives its legitimacy both from the constituent nations and the inherent, global citizenship of all people in the world.
Many of the global challenges that EAs care about - including existential risks, climate change, and global development - require stronger global institutions to be addressed. World federalism would provide for stronger global coordination while retaining autonomous national and regional governments. Since countries retain political autonomy in a federal system, it would be less likely than a unitary world government to collapse into global totalitarianism, a concern that has been raised by Bryan Caplan in "The Totalitarian Threat."
Although the World Federalist Movement has been around since the 1930s and 40s (around World War II), it's been gaining more traction recently with the founding of the Young World Federalists and the associated r/GlobalTribe subreddit in 2019. I think EAs involved in longtermist and global development causes should consider making connections with this movement.