Divided Nations

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

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 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, finance, 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.

In Divided Nations, published by Oxford University Press in 2013, Ian Goldin explores whether the answer is to reform 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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Also available in Chinese translation.

Reviews and endorsements:

‘Divided Nations is an absolutely remarkable book, which provides fresh and particularly useful theoretical as well as necessarily practive 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

‘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. We must hope that his optimism that the international community will wake up and act before it is too late is not misplaced. After all, there is, as was once famously said, no alternative.’ — Lord Chris Patten, Chancellor, University of Oxford

‘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.’ — Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

‘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

‘Ian Goldin’s book is a “must read” for those wanting to understand the paradox presented by globalization: a force for good but also a threat to humanity if not properly harnessed. Highly recommended for those seeking ways to ensure globalization works for all.’ — Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organisation

‘Goldin is dead right. This could be the best century ever. Or the worst. As we shrink inexorably into a global village, the biggest challenge is how we manage global village governance. Goldin offers clear-headed analysis and practical, pragmatic solutions. A must-read.’ — Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS

‘Lest we forget, the act of governance is the task of organising relations for desired outcomes. Globalisation has raised the need for governance as never before. Ian Goldin shows how the multilateral organisations, first convened 70 years ago, were structured for a different age. Further, there are major lacunae in functions that were not considered necessary then. Divided Nations diagnoses the problems in global governance and explains the costs of inaction.  Students of global affairs must know, so that the deficiencies can be urgently addressed. Failure to appreciate the urgency is not an option! Ian Goldin’s work takes away the last excuses – no serious person can ever again claim, “We did not know.” ‘- Trevor Manuel, Minister and Chair of the National Planning Commission, South Africa

Press coverage and media reviews:

Recensioni e segnalazioni
Rivista di Studi Politici Internazionali (RSPI), 21 January 2016

Big Idea: The Time for Divided Nations is Over
The Big Idea, 1 August 2013

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

Nations are divided, but we citizens need not be
Wired Magazine, June 2013

Ian Goldin Book: ‘Divided Nations’ discusses Global Governance (excerpt)
Huffington Post, 10 June 2013

Divided Nations: review
Times Higher Education, 6 June 2013

The ‘Global Village’ needs some Village Elders, says leading economist
Hay Festival News, 27 May 2013

Divided Nations
Huffington Post, 14 May 2013

Book Show: Interview with Jenny Crwys-Williams
Radio 702, South Africa

Book Verdict: Review of Divided Nations
Library Journal, 1 May 2013

Do we need new Global Institutions?
The Globalist, 28/04/13

Professor Ian Goldin questions austerity measures
Herald Scotland, 21/04/13

Divided Nations: global challenges, global governance
Pod Academy interview 14/04/13 (podcast)

Genius Unlocked
The Governance Lab @ NYU 9/04/13

An optimist’s view from the edge of the abyss
Financial Times 07/04/13

Divided Nations
Review by John Bunzl, International Simultaneous Policy Organisation April 2012

Divided Nations is now available from Amazon as an audio book.

Ian Goldin spoke about Divided Nations at the the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies (CIS) on 2 June, 2014.

Ian Goldin presented Divided Nations on 18 June, 2013 atOverseas Development Institute. Watch the video

Ian Goldin spoke about Divided Nations at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 17 August, 2013

Ian Goldin presented Divided Nations on 18 June, 2013 atOverseas Development Institute.Watch the video

Ian Goldin spoke on Divided Nations at Hay Festival on 27 May, 2013. Read the blog here

Read Ian Goldin’s blog on Divided Nations

Ian Goldin presented Divided Nations on 16 March, 2013 at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Watch the video

Ian Goldin spoke on Divided Nations on March 20, 2013 at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Listen to the podcast