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NATO and Global Commons Project (Global Governance)



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“Global commons” points out the resources, regions, and territories beyond the administration by sovereign states. In the second world war and the cold war, maritime, air and other common spaces are considered as the secure base and strategic territory. The definite concept of global commons was raised by Posen (2003) to point out the leadership of America in the economy, military, and other resources. After that, the study on security of global commons raise.NATO supports the discourse construction and structural design of global commons by America. Global commons concept has not been approved in the new strategic documents as the core. However, this theory points a new direction.


The global commons concept by NATO based on the global security gesture in the post-cold war era. Firstly, the globalization increases the now- traditional security issues in the economy, environment, and politics. Secondly, the increasing military competition provides the possibility of advanced, collaborative and intensive strategic deployment. Then, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMD (weapons of mass destruction) prevent the use and development of global commons. At the same time, terrorism undermines the peace of global commons. Under this circumstance, the western think tank starts the research on global commons.

Primary considerations:

The common ideology on global commons bases on the following considerations.

Firstly, the legalization and the transform of strategies. The legalization of global intervene strategies by NATO has been criticized widely. Under the situation of Afghanistan War, decreasing support rate by Europe and the debt crisis, NATO regards the non-traditional security issues such as trade security and global climate change as important security threatens. New strategies aim at marine, air, space and cyber. This changing advocates the strengthen beyond the sovereignty states.

Secondly, NATO tries to use global commons concept to integrate the existing power. After the cold war, America sustains the leader status and pays attention to the defense construction of EU. The divergence between Europe and America gradually increase in the global affairs. The global commons project is helpful to rebuild the strong relationship between EU and America.

Thirdly, the new powers, such as BRICS, may challenge the previous advantages and leadership of NATO in the neo-liberalism global orders. The global commons provide a chance to reduce the influence of newly developed powers.

Main contents:

Maritime, air, space, and cyberspace are the four dimensions of the global commons project.

-Maritime: One aspect includes the increasing navy power of BRICS, marine territories, and anti-access strategies. The other one includes pirates, marine terrorism, maritime interception, the proliferation of WMD and advanced naval science.

-Air: The proliferation of missilery. The Command and Control(C2). The pilotless aircraft.

-Space: Integration and concordance in space.

-Cyberspace: Most recent commons sphere. NATO need cooperation and preparation in solving the two main problems in cyberspace. One is the “Hacker” activities by sovereign states such as China and Russia; the other one is the intervention by malicious software by organizations and individuals.



  1. a) The global commons project is going to intensify the competition between states.
  2. b) The demilitarize sphere such as space is more militarize.
  3. c) The global commons conduct the obstacles of global governance.


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