© 2018

The Palgrave Handbook of Indicators in Global Governance

  • Debora Valentina Malito
  • Gaby Umbach
  • Nehal Bhuta

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Conceptualising and Contextualising Indicators as Instruments of (Global) Governance

  3. Making Measures

  4. Applying Measures: The Use and the Impact of Indicators as Instruments of (Global) Governance

About this book


This volume brings together both academic and institutional perspectives to examine the production, use and contestation of indicators in global governance. It provides a unique and comprehensive guide to the latest research in the study of indicators and their use in global governance and policy making. The editors provide a guide to the recent vast body of literature and practice on measuring governance and measurement as governance at the global level, and present a state-of-the-art analysis of social science research on indicators at both the transnational and the global level. The Handbook brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, as well as policy-makers from international organisations and non-government organisations working in the field. This volume will be a valuable resource for students and academics in the fields of public policy, administration and management, international relations, political science, law, and globalisation, as well as policy makers and practitioners.


Global Governance Quantification Indicators measuring government performance Good Governance Corruption shell companies Institutional quality Stateness The Rule of Law Index Sustainable Governance Indicators State Fragility Index Fiscal Sustainability instrumental and intrinsic goods intra- and intergenerational justice sustainability conceptions Measuring Governance governance indices anticorruption metrics transparency indicators

Editors and affiliations

  • Debora Valentina Malito
    • 1
  • Gaby Umbach
    • 2
  • Nehal Bhuta
    • 3
  1. 1.Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced StudiesEuropean University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly
  2. 2.Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced StudiesEuropean University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly
  3. 3.Law DepartmentEuropean University InstituteFirenzeItaly

About the editors

Debora Valentina Malito is A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research interests focus on critical studies of liberal intervention, state building and global governance.

Gaby Umbach is Founding Director of GlobalStat, the Database on Developments in a Globalised World, and Co-Director of research projects on measuring and indicators in global governance at the Global Governance Programme of the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Italy. She is Book Review Editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies

Nehal Bhuta is Professor of Public International Law at the European University Institute, Italy. He is a member of the editorial boards of the European Journal of International Law, the Journal of International Criminal Justice, Constellations, and Humanity. He is also a Series Editor of The History and Theory of International Law

Bibliographic information


“This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the ‘state of art’ in relation to indicators as part of the toolkit of global governance. Governing with numbers is pervasive. The authors adopt a welcome sophistication in approaching this topic by situating the discussion within a normative frame and by paying attention to questions of context and power.” (Brigid Laffan, Director and Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Italy)

“Knowledge was an essential part of the making of the modern State and we judge governments by measuring and ranking them. Indicators — their collection, application, use, and comparison — are hence an essential part of global governance. But how to measure and compare the worldwide rule of law, integrity, good governance, stateness, institutional quality, government performance, sustainable development, or human rights? This groundbreaking, multiperspective and transdisciplinary book provides all that one needs to explore this new area.” (Sabino Cassese, Professor of Global Law, LUISS Guido Carli University, former judge of the Italian Constitutional Court and Emeritus Professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa)