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

Ian Goldin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Mar 2013
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, finance, 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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (14 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199693900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199693900
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford, is also Director of the innovative Oxford Martin School, an interdisciplinary research community addressing global challenges and opportunities. He has published 18 books on issues related to globalisation, trade, agriculture, development, migration, the environment, governance and economic reform.

Before moving to Oxford University in 2006, Professor Goldin was Vice President of the World Bank and Director of Policy for the World Bank Group. From 1996-2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, at which time he was also economic advisor to President Mandela. Previously, he was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, and Program Director at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he directed the Programs on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development. He has a Doctorate and MA from the University of Oxford, MSc from the London School of Economics and BSc and BA(Hons) from the University of Cape Town.

Goldin has received wide recognition for his contributions to development and research, including having been knighted by the French Government and nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.


Product Description


Divided Nations is an absolutely remarkable book, which provides fresh and particularly useful theoretical as well as necessarily practical insights given the present challenges facing humanity. Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank and current chairman and CEO of the Group of Thirty. A state-of-the-art view of contemporary issues in global cooperation This well-written book offers no magic-bullet solutions, yet suggests some promising ways forward. Dries Lesage, Times Higher Education Ian Goldin has been in the kitchen, at a senior level, of national and international policymaking. It is a messy place. But, as he argues clearly and convincingly, our ability to co-operate across nations is crucial to the stability and growth of our economies. It is crucial too for the protection of our environment and reducing the grave risks of climate change. The necessary co-operation will not be easy but Goldin sets out clear principles and sketches out real possibilities. The world should listen. Nicholas Stern Ian Goldin stylishly describes the Gordian knot of international governance and makes some sensible suggestions on how it might be cut. Mark Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-General Goldin offers clear-headed analysis and practical, pragmatic solutions. A must-read. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, and author of The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World At a time when, as Ian Goldin argues, global politics is gridlocked, we need greater international co-operation than ever before - and the institutions to sustain it - in order to cope with the sort of problems from economic imbalances to the environment which individual nation states cannot overcome on their own. Ian Goldin shows why this is imperative and how it could be done. Lord Chris Patten, Chancellor, University of Oxford

About the Author

Professor Ian Goldin is the Director of the Oxford University's Oxford Martin School, Oxford University Professor of Globalisation and Development and Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. From 2001 to 2006 he was at the World Bank, first as Director of Policy and then as Vice President. He has published over fifty articles and fifteen books, including Globalisation for Development: Meeting New Challenges (OUP, 2012) and Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define our Future (PUP, 2011).

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Zipster Zeus VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a good example of the current crop of academic books actually trying to tackle the concept of world governance beyond the current form of liberal capitalist globalisation- which is promoted as the only viable form of globalisation available- but of course is far from it.

This hegemonic capturing of the term 'globalisation' by capitalism is a tough nut to crack but it is heartening to see some 'mainstream' intellectuals giving it a shot and Goldin is well up to the job. He may be a bit overly optimistic at times and it seems too much as if he's trying not to frighten his readers, but he charts the current problems with the rapid pace of western establishment driven globalisation with a lively verve, and shows how we are in an difficult, uncharted world of needing to find global fixes for global problems we have made for ourselves through more often than not blindly following only one model of globalisation. He also comes up with some ideas to ameliorate these problems which are sensible and to an extent workable, although I think as more and more of us are realising, the deep rooted problems of our current mode of globalisation is going to need radical- dare I say revolutionary- solutions.

As an attempt to make sense of the current globalisation madness that is rooted firmly in the crises of late capitalism, this is as good a book as others around at the moment to help us along the way and give us ideas to mull over. Don't expect cosy solutions that are going to maintain the status quo for us in the West though, because they just don't exist. Start with this book if you are now prepared to think outside of the box though and are willing to explore the new solutions the planet so desperately needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Globalization and Divided Nations 17 Oct 2013
By G. J. Oxley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After finishing Professor Manfred Suter's excellent OUP 'A Short Introduction to Globalisation' I was greatly interested in extending my knowledge of global issues and challenges still further - and 'Divided Nations', which demonstrates how governance isn't as it should be in an age of greater inter-connectness between nations - seemed a fair place to start.

The easy bit for author Ian Goldin to do is the descriptive element - putting into print where, why and how it's failing. But for this short, yet expansive, volume that's only the kicking-off point - he also tries to carry off the much more difficult trick of suggesting feasible solutions for steering the world onto a healthier, better-linked approach to governance.

The solutions may actually be achievable - if all nations sat down and agreed on the implementation of, for some, drastic measures. However, that, sadly isn't going to happen. Nevertheless, steps along the way need to be considered before the earth combusts through major global conflict.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing 19 Sep 2013
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The author's argument is convincing and I felt that he made his case eloquently and persuasively. He supplies plenty of evidence. For a book written by an academic it is quite easy to follow.

I did think that it lacked a bit of rigour and was too utopian when it came to suggestions for action.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Insightful 29 April 2013
In his recently published book, "Divided Nations", Professor Goldin, Director of The Oxford Martin School, a leading economist and a previous advisor to Nelson Mandela and Vice President and Director of Policy at the World Bank, recognises that we need global solutions for global challenges. However, he believes that we lack global leadership and even an awareness of the scale of the global challenges we all face. In his words "this could be our best century ever" or our "worst". Prof Goldin believes that "ossified" institutions are losing the battle to tackle modern concerns that transcend national boundaries, such as financial crises, cybercrime, pandemics, migration and the effects of global warming. The outcome, Professor Goldin contends, will depend on "our collective ability to understand and take action to address key challenges". He asserts that unless we are able to more effectively manage the risks associated with globalisation, they will overwhelm us. Professor Goldin believes this to be the core challenge of our times. Whilst focused on significant global challenges such as climate change, finance and migration this book sets out the challenge for civic society, international and national organisations to help create and develop the new norm. Acknowledging, to para phrase Prof Goldin's work, that we will not find new solutions if we keep doing things the same way. He believes that global politics is gridlocked and the aim of this book is to stimulate debate and discussion that will lead to the development of new solutions to these complex challenges. Overall, a very insightful and informed read for those interested in globalisation and international governance and a book that helps set the context for the debate and discussion that needs to take place.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A red rag for the Daily Mail bull.... 24 Oct 2013
By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School and here he presents his view of the critical challenges facing the globalised world. He argues that globalisation forces us to find global solutions, as they are problems that extend beyond national borders.

Probably his most controversial position is on immigration where he sees a need for international agreements. He sees a huge benefit to large movements of immigrants which he argues reinvigorate a moribund economy. Of course there is the initial shock and dislocation but the long term benefits easily outweigh this short term pain. At this point I can see a Daily Mail reader's head spinning and eyes bulging. To add to this and infuriate the Delingpole's of this world he then he goes on to say that we also need to deal with climate, by actually negotiating with the people that it affects.

His final threats are cyber-security, global pandemic and financial crises. Of these the hardest to deal with is the markets because there are so many vested interests that they play each country off against one another unless there is a concerted agreement. Some of his facts about pandemics are a bit dodgy. DNA synthesis is not the same as making something living and lethal. I can't just make a virus up and even the recent controversial paper saying what the critical changes are for pandemic flu still does not make it any easier to make a weaponised virus. Cyber-security is more an annoyance than a world disaster. Anything survival critical should not be plugged into the net or at least shouldn't be on Windows. States are playing cyber-wars but this is a lot less dangerous than even the cold-war.

While he acknowledges that the existing International Institutions (IMF, WTO, UN etc.
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