As the international system grows in complexity and inter-connectedness, contemporary global governance is increasingly shaped by the credit rating agencies. The well documented retreat of the state continues apace as technological and financial developments swamp the capacity of traditionally dominant actors to influence human affairs on a global scale. The credit rating agencies have leveraged the importance of credit provisioning and the increased reliance on knowledge to position themselves in a powerful position to influence decision making. Their ratings are being supplemented by an array of judgements about variables that are difficult to define, such as the intentions or willingness of elected officials to pursue certain courses of action in the future. These assessments determine the creditworthiness of government and non-government actors across the globe. This thesis seeks to explore the role of credit rating agencies in contemporary global governance by documenting the growth of credit as the lifeblood of contemporary global governance and the critical role of knowledge in the financial markets. Two case studies are used to illustrate how credit rating agencies interact with and influence state actors and the subordinate role states now play in contemporary global governance.