Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about it

Ian Goldin

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0199693900

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With rapid globalization, the world is more deeply interconnected than ever before. While this has its advantages, it also brings with it systemic risks that are only just being identified and understood. Rapid urbanization, together with technological leaps, such as the Internet, mean that we are now physically and virtually closer than ever in humanity's history.

We face a number of international challenges - climate change, pandemics, cyber security, and migration - which spill over national boundaries. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the UN, the IMF, the World Bank - bodies created in a very different world, more than 60 years ago - are inadequate for the task of managing such risk in the 21st century.

Ian Goldin explores whether the answer is to reform the existing structures, or to consider a new and radical approach. By setting out the nature of the problems and the various approaches to global governance, Goldin highlights the challenges that we are to overcome and considers a road map for the future.

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Davis (2006). D avis (2007). See Goldin et al (2011). Estimate by author based on analysis in Goldin et al (2011). NOTES 0001712969. INDD 181 | 181 9/27/2012 1:04:17 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST PROOF, 09/27/2012, SPi 26 For sources and a full discussion of these issues see Goldin et al (2011). 27 Goldin et al (2011), p. 182. 28 Ratha (2007). 29 Anderegg et al (2010). 30 Government Office for Science (2011). 31 IPCC (2007), pp. 173–210. 32 See ICE-SAR (2012). 33 See CRIEnglish (2010). Chapter 2 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 United Nations (2011).

Assuming that a resolution is not vetoed, it requires a nine-vote majority to pass. The UN includes over twenty quasi-independent agencies and funds, including the WHO, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The structure of these organizations varies, but they tend to have several features in common. First, membership is voluntary, and accordingly they tend to have a smaller number of members than G L O B A L , N AT I O N A L , A N D L O C A L I N T E R E S T S 0001712962.

Again, the best course of action could be to carry on as normal. So either way, the government in the UK has some incentive to defect from the agreement. However, if other governments adopt the same line of reasoning, emissions would carry on increasing. This occurs even though every country would be individually better off if all countries reduced their emissions. The general solution to free-rider problems is international agreement which binds signatory governments. At the national level, similar free-riding problems would apply if we tried to fund national defence through voluntary individual G L O B A L , N AT I O N A L , A N D L O C A L I N T E R E S T S 0001712962.

Just as many national governments can struggle with ‘career civil servants’, global institutions also experience low staff-turnover. This is in large part due to the highly competitive (typically tax-free) salaries, the institutional culture in which long service is the norm and often commensurate with promotion, as well as what might be described as ‘comfortable’ career paths. 100 | 0001712963. INDD 100 N AT I O N S , N E T WO R K S , A N D K N OW L E D G E 9/27/2012 1:13:45 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST PROOF, 09/27/2012, SPi Such organizational profiles are out of step with modern working trends.

The fundamental reason for this is the declining share of the G7 in the global economy. Led by W H AT C A N B E D O N E ? 0001712965. INDD 167 | 167 9/27/2012 12:55:40 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST PROOF, 09/27/2012, SPi the BRICS, the other 202 countries in the world have become more assertive on the matters that matter to them, ranging from the small islands on climate change to cybersecurity in China. The US, Europe, and Japan are financially bankrupt, with leaders across the board fighting for their political survival and unable or unwilling to play a global role.

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