The objective of this article is to demonstrate the place of the global governance concept in four international relations theories: realism, liberalism, neoliberal institutionalism and social constructivism. Global governance is defined as the sum of ways that institutions and international organizations, both public and private, use to try to cooperate at the global level in order to manage their common affairs. In addition, the paper defines global governance as being a specific perspective on world politics that offers a tool for understanding global change in an era of shifting boundaries and relocated authorities. The main research questions of the article are: how the most influential IR theories have reacted to the global governance concept and why the term ‘global governance’, so popularly and so frequently used in the 1990’s, has not resulted in a stable concept. Conclusions and suggestions presented in the summary point out that global governance held the promise of a radical transformation (predicted by almost every IR theory) of world order at the end of the Cold War. However, this great institutional transformation has never taken place. Therefore, current global politics still remain resistant to any form of world (or global) governance.