The reading list below is based on a reading list originally used for an internal GPI reading group. These reading groups are used as a way of doing an early-stage exploration of new areas that seem promising from an academic global priorities research perspective. Each topic is often used as the theme for one or two weekly discussions, and in most cases those attending the discussion will have read the suggested materials beforehand.
As I thought that it could be a valuable resource for those interested in academic global priorities research, I’m sharing it here, with permission from the authors. All the credit for the list below goes to them.
Disclaimer: The views presented in the readings suggested below do not necessarily represent views held by me, GPI, or any GPI staff member.
This list presents readings investigating the merits of world government and other forms of global governance. The first half will investigate general issues that bear on the topic. The second will turn to global governance itself.
1. Centralization and Coordination
- Nick Bostrom, Thomas Douglas, and Anders Sandberg. 2016. “The Unilateralist’s Curse and the Case for a Principle of Conformity,” Social Epistemology 30: 350-371.
- Ricardo Alonso, Wouter Dessein, and Niko Matouschek. 2008. “When Does Coordination Require Centralization?” American Economic Review 98: 145-179. (Corrigendum.)
2. The Size of Nations
- Alberto Alesina. 2003. “The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?” Journal of the Economic Association: 301-316.
- Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore. 1997. “On the Number and Size of Nations,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112: 1027-1056.
- Alberto Alesina, and Enrico Spolaore. 2015. “What’s Happening to the Number and Size of Nations?” E-International Relations: 1-4.
- “Goldilocks Nationalism.” 2014. The Economist.
- Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore, The Size of Nations (MIT Press, 2003).
- Rose, Andrew K. 2006. "Size Really Doesn't Matter: In search of a National Scale Effect." Journal of the Japanese and International Economies 20: 482-507.
- Jens Blom-Hansen, Kurt Houlberg, Søren Serritzlew. 2014. “Size, Democracy, and the Economic Costs of Running the Political System.” American Journal of Political Science 58: 790-803.
- Banerjee, Abhijit, Lakshmi Iyer, and Rohini Somanathan. 2008. “Public Action for Public Goods” In Paul Schultz and John Strauss (eds.), Handbook of Development Economics. Vol. 4.
- Ray, Debraj and Joan Maria Esteban. 2001. “Collective Action and the Group Size Paradox.” American Political Science Review 95: 663-672.
3. Federalism and Subsidiarity
- Jenna Bednar. 2011. “The Political Science of Federalism.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 7: 269-288.
- Jenna Bednar. 2012. The Robust Federation: Principles of Design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay. 1788. The Federalist Papers, especially nos. 10, 39, 45-46, and 51.
- Andreas Føllesdal. 2018. “Federalism.” In E. N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Andreas Føllesdal. 1998. “Survey Article: Subsidiarity.” The Journal of Political Philosophy 6: 190-218.
- This issue of NOMOS on federalism and subsidiarity
4. Technocracy and Polycentricity
- Gerald Gaus. 2021. The Open Society and its Complexities. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Part III)
- F. A. Hayek. 1988. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- James C. Scott. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- This blog post exchange:
- Vincent Ostrom, Charles M. Tiebout, and Robert Warren. 1961. “The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas: A Theoretical Inquiry.” American Political Science Review 55: 831-842.
- Elinor Ostrom. 2010. “Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems.” American Economic Review 100: 641-673
- Paul D. Aligicia and Vlad Tarko. 2012. “Polycentricity: From Polanyi to Ostrom, and Beyond.” Governance 25: 237-262.
5. Is a world government desirable?
- Yael Tamir. 2000. Who’s afraid of a global state? In Goldmann, Hannerz, and Westin, eds. Nationalism and Internalism in the Post Cold-War Era, 242-63. London: Routledge.
- Bryan Caplan. 2008. The totalitarian threat. In Bostrom and Cirkovic, eds. Global Catastrophic Risks, 504-17. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bertrand Russell. 1959. Common sense and nuclear warfare. London: Routledge.
- Amitai Etzioni. 2001. “Beyond transnational governance.” International Journal 56, 595-610
- Torbjörn Tännsjö. 2008. Global democracy: the case for a world government. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Daniel Deudney. 2006. Bounding power: republican security theory from the polis to the global village. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press - Ch. 9 ‘Anticipations of world nuclear government’
- Luis Cabrera. 2010. “World government: renewed debate, persistent challenges.” European Journal of International Relations 16, 511-30.
- Nick Bostrom, 2019. “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.” Global Policy 10: 455-476.
- Nick Bostrom, 2004. The future of human evolution. In Tandy, ed. Death and Anti‐Death: Two Hundred Years After Kant, Fifty Years After Turing, 339‐371. Palo Alto: Ria University Press.
- Nick Bostrom, 2006. “What is a singleton?” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 5: 48-54.
- Catherine Lu, 2021. World government. In Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Juan Gil, 2021. “Key characteristics for evaluating future global governance institutions.” Rethink Priorities
6. The inevitability of world government?
- Alexander Wendt. 2003. “Why a world state is inevitable.” European Journal of International Relations 9, 491-542.
- Robert Wright. 2000. Nonzero: the logic of human destiny. New York, NY: Vintage - Ch. 15 ‘New World Order’
- Dani Rodrik. 2000. “How far will international economic integration go?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, 177-86
- Robert Carneiro. 2004. “The political unification of the world: Whether, when, and how — some speculations.” Cross-Cultural Research 38, 162–177
- Peter Peregrine, Melvin Ember, and Carol Ember C. 2004. “Predicting the future state of the world using archaeological data: An exercise in archaeomancy.” Cross-Cultural Research 38,133–146.
- Daniele Archibugi and David Held. 2011. “Cosmopolitan democracy: paths and agents.” Ethics and International Affairs 25,433-61.
- Robert Goodin. 2013. World government is here! In Ben-Porath and Smith, eds. Varieties of sovereignty and citizenship, 149–65. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
7. Global governance
- Arie Kacowicz. 2012. Global governance, international order, and world order. In Levi-Faur, ed. The Oxford handbook of governance, 686-98. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Thomas Weiss and Rorden Wilkinson. 2014. “Rethinking global governance? Complexity, authority, power, change.” International Studies Quarterly 58, 207-15.
- James Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel, eds. 1992. Governance without government: order and change in world politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Craig Murphy. 2000. “Global governance: poorly done and poorly understood.” International Affairs 76, 789-804.
- Simon Caney. 2006. “Cosmopolitan justice and institutional design.” Social Theory and Practice 32, 725-56.
- Thomas Weiss. 2009. “What happened to the idea of world government?” International Studies Quarterly 53, 253-71.
- John Ikenbery. 2011. Liberal leviathan: the origins, crisis, and transformation of the American world order. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
- Thomas Weiss and Rorden Wilkinson, eds. 2014. International organization and global governance. London: Routledge.
- Jonathan Kuyper. 2015. Global Democracy. In E.N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Scott Barrett. 2005. “The theory of international environmental agreements.” Handbook of Environmental Economics 3: 1457-1516.
- Scott Barrett. 2016. “Collective Action to Avoid Catastrophe: When Countries Succeed, When They Fail, and Why.” Global Policy 7: 45-55.
8. Unipolarity vs. Multipolarity
- William C. Wohlforth. 1999. “The Stability of a Unipolar World.” International Security 24: 5-41.
- G. John Ikenberry. 2012. “Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order.” Princeton: Princeton University Press, ch. 4.
- Kenneth N. Waltz. 1964. “The Stability of a Bipolar World.” Daedalus 93: 881-909.
- R. N. Rosecrance. 1966. “Bipolarity, Multipolarity, and the Future.” Conflict Resolution X: 313-327.
- Ikenberry, G. John, Michael Mastanduno and William C. Wohlforth. 2009. “Unipolarity, State Behavior, and Systemic Consequences.” World Politics 61: 1-26.
- An introduction to this special issue, which contains other relevant articles