In this short but persuasive book, Goldin argues that the institutions of postwar global governance—the UN, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank—are increasingly incapable of managing the instabilities created by global interdependence. The 2008 financial crisis is emblematic of this problem: advances in technology, financial instruments, and banking collided with outdated regulatory institutions, bringing the world economy to the brink of collapse. Goldin identifies similar potential threats of systemic breakdown when it comes to cybersecurity, pandemic diseases, immigration, nuclear safety, and climate change. Each of these problems requires large coalitions of states to commit to sophisticated, long-term collective action and global problem solving. But the recent failures of major multilateral negotiations on trade and climate change have not generated much optimism. Goldin’s suggested path forward eschews new global institutions in favor of informal networks that bring governments, private groups, and experts together to form new coalitions. If globalization is to survive, it will need to be governed responsibly, with the participation of the many constituencies around the world that would benefit from more openness and interdependence.
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