“Challenging conventional views of global governance as something imposed from above, this superb book shows how global governance, itself, is a two-way street constructed on grassroots terrain. Using the indigenous notion of buen vivir in Ecuador, Kauffman shows how local people trying to solve local problems can influence global understandings in deep ways. Painstakingly researched and beautifully written, this is a must-read for anyone interested in global governance today.”

—Martha Finnemore, University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The George Washington University


“In this important book, Kauffman brings global governance down to earth, showing how ‘the global’ shapes and is shaped by the ‘network activation’ at multiple levels. Either global governance is constructed locally or it remains impossibly abstract. Using fascinating case studies from Ecuadorian watershed management, he demonstrates the many translations of languages and practices that go into building this process at the grassroots.”

—Margaret E. Keck, Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University


“Kauffman advances an insightful argument in claiming that grassroots governance experiments scale-up and shape mechanisms of global governance.  Many (including me) want to think that local efforts have global governing consequences but lack the evidence and theoretical framework to turn this into genuine insight. Kauffman’s book offers a careful study that traces the network character of local-global connections, and demonstrates how this gets activated.  It provides a refreshingly nuanced view of how global governance emerges.  At a time when governance seems monopolized by regressive forces, his book offers hope that management efforts dispersed throughout the globe are still alive and will have global impact.”

—Paul Wapner, Professor, Global Environmental Politics, School of International Service, American University

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