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

2. The Size of Nations

3. Federalism and Subsidiarity

4. Technocracy and Polycentricity

5. Is a world government desirable?

6. The inevitability of world government?

7. Global governance

8. Unipolarity vs. Multipolarity


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1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 1:16 PM

Thanks for sharing! I'm curious if any of these readings were most helpful around forming "theories of change toward achieving a limited form of global governance in specific key domains where it might be most important" or "viable mechanisms for partial global governance in those domains."

As someone exploring alternative ways to govern near-global powerful technology organizations that interact closely with nation-states and fund a significant proportion of AI research, this is what I would be most curious about (and which also seems e.g. particularly relevant re. x-risks). In the linked doc, I focus on sortition-based systems as one potential approach, but there are additional routes (e.g. ML-augmented) that I am also exploring using ~this framework, and I'd be interested any I have not considered.