Fernando Vallespín

Fernando Vallespín
Picture: Goethe-Institut

Throughout the Reformation Year 2017, this site offers trendsetters and thought leaders a place to present their notions of change and innovation. What are the potentials and needs for current and future-oriented “reformations”? 

Insights into essential and necessary changes in our field: Political science must learn to steer globalization!

The greatest challenge that political scientists have to face is the mastery of globalization and the devising of a policy of global governance. For several decades the world has been expanding in the sectors of communication and trade, and basically in the entirety of social relations. There is only a single exception: politics. All other areas of human relations are moving in the direction of a “world society”, but we cling to “local” systems of political organization. The state is still that political instance which deserves such a designation.

As a result, the growing interdependencies and the problems stemming from the new global coexistence remain without an adequate political response. There has been much progress in the formation of supranational structures such as the EU and in the promotion of mechanisms of collaboration within international organizations, agreements and treaties. These, however, are always subject to the support or the veto of the “great powers”.

As may be seen from the lack of regulatory mechanisms for financial markets, this results in leaving the population of the world defenseless in the face of new threats such as climate change, environmental pollution, mass migration, poverty, the scarcity of water resources and the like. As before in certain epochs such problems found their solution within nation states, now they can be solved only with the help of mechanisms of global governance worthy of the name. The future of humanity depends upon whether or not we can find these mechanisms.


Fernando Vallespín (born in 1954) is a political scientist and Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He has taught as a guest at the Universities of Harvard, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Veracruz and Malaysia. He was President of the Consejo de Investigaciones Sociológicas until 2008. Vallespín is a member of the Advisory Committee of the think tank FRIDE and since July 2011 has been Academic Director of the Ortega y Gasset Research Institute.