Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements.

Structured under three international governance programs — Global Economy, Global Security & Politics and International Law — our major research projects and activities reflect today's top public policy concerns while anticipating emerging trends.

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Research Areas

Conflict Management & Security

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The global security landscape continues to evolve, expanding from regional conflict management and prevention to new spaces, including environmental and cyber security. Strong leadership on governance is vital in Africa, Central Asia and Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Arctic, but has become equally important online as some governments employ cyber warfare. Peace building and addressing the global refugee crisis are priorities. Human rights and humanitarian law are at the core of the international governance framework for peace and security.

Environment & Energy

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Addressing climate change and fostering a low-carbon energy economy requires tackling problems simultaneously from legal, economic and security perspectives. CIGI’s research brings new ideas and concrete proposals for financing sustainable development, promoting conservation and growth in the blue economy, implementing carbon pricing mechanisms, Arctic governance, and incorporating human rights and engaging Indigenous peoples in climate strategy and action.

Innovation & Productivity

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Innovation permeates CIGI’s research, leading to new approaches and new partnerships. Through economic, legal and political lenses, CIGI focuses on understanding, and helping to shape, the policies that foster innovation, promote diffusion of knowledge and know-how, and raise productivity and security, in partnership with international organizations, the Government of Canada and others. Research on innovation and trade also focuses on the interaction between international intellectual property architecture and mega trade arrangements.

Internet Governance & Jurisdiction

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The Global Commission on Internet Governance’s One Internet report makes practical recommendations for the international community to ensure that the future of the Internet remains open, secure, trustworthy and inclusive. The recommendations continue to gain traction on cybersecurity, multi-stakeholder governance and accessibility. CIGI is also conducting work on the future of the Internet in China, and international economic law and intellectual property law related to Internet commerce.

Summits & Institutions

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CIGI’s research laid the groundwork for the Group of Twenty (G20) leaders’ summit, and work continues to lead efforts to address gaps in global governance and explore critical issues around Canada’s role in the global economy. CIGI plays a key role in the Think 20 process and monitors and contributes research and analysis on the reform of international financial architecture, including the International Monetary Fund. CIGI contributes insights on law, politics and economics at international fora, including the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties on climate change.

Trade & Finance

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The fallout from the 2008 global economic crisis continues to redefine international trade and financing arrangements. CIGI monitors issues of financial governance and securities regulation, tracks the response of central banks and examines improvements to frameworks to manage severe sovereign debt crises.