Do Governance Borders Really Matter?: The Labyrinth of Interwoven International Governance Codes, the Ongoing Evolution into One Regime

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This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Barnes, L., & Poulton, E. (2016, April 28-29). Do governance borders really matter?: The labyrinth of interwoven international governance codes, the ongoing evolution into one regime. Paper presented at the Governance and Law Across Borders Conference, Melbourne, Australia.


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There is much debate as to whether there will ever be one international currency, or one ‘business’ language spoken, one set of accounting standards applicable to all businesses listed in various countries stock exchanges. Governance principles are no different. Is it possible to create one set of rules or principles to guide all businesses across borders?

This research compares the governance standards across the globe, from China, to the Nordic region, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States of America. The question is asked, will there ever be one ‘governance regime’. The findings show that across borders governance codes are very similar, with the opportunity to create a Global Governance Standard (GGS), applicable to any business in any country. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ GGS could potentially apply to any large business, listed on any stock exchange, creating efficiencies and ease of comparison for potential stakeholders interested in the business. Reducing the labyrinth of governance codes to just one would create a uniform approach to governance, supported by government and stock exchanges around the world, the GGS would be the final evolution in the notion of governance since the codes of conduct of Hammurabi of 1800 BC. Let the borders be gone, and the GGS left standing as the final chapter in governance evolution


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