F&ES 645b / 2016-2017
Global Public Goods and Cooperation in International Politics
Some of the most urgent and difficult challenges in international politics can be understood as “global public goods.” All countries, peoples, and generations need clean air, international security, or freedom of air and sea navigation worldwide. In either their harmful (public “bads”) or beneficial (public goods) form, these needs demand action on behalf of societies worldwide. From managing global warming and international financial crises to preventing global epidemics or widespread disruption of the internet, global public goods require actors to bargain, coordinate and collaborate in efforts to implement effective responses. In most cases this involves governments, international organizations, civil society and considerable tough bargaining to solve collection action problems. This seminar investigates the nature of public goods and collective action in order to help understand these pressing challenges, possible responses to them, and how politics both limits and opens opportunities for policy formation. It begins with prevalent theories about the production of public goods, from the local to transnational and global, and analysis of their governance. It then studies in depth three case studies—providing international financial stability, eliminating or containing infectious diseases, and mitigating global climate disruption. It concludes by examining the implications of rising socio-economic inequality in major countries worldwide. The final two weeks are dedicated to presentations and discussion of each seminar member’s research project.
Limited to 15 students
Online Course Information: