Summary of Global Risks and Collective Action Failures

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Global Risks and Collective Action Failures summary
Coordinating global cooperation to tackle global problems isn’t easy, but it is possible.


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The fizzling of the Kyoto Protocol underscores the world’s desultory response to climate change. Depressing, yes, but don’t despair completely, argues economist İnci Ötker-Robe of the International Monetary Fund. Remember smallpox? If not, that’s because every nation in the world committed to eradicating it. The same held true for the hole in the ozone layer; nations agreed to take action to avert a crisis. While this timely report offers no easy answers, getAbstract recommends it to those seeking insights into collective global risk management.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What contributes to successful and failed responses to global problems
  • How incentives – both positive and negative – might nudge nations in the right direction


In 1967, the World Health Organization declared war on smallpox. By 1980, after a $300 million campaign, public health officials announced that smallpox no longer existed. It was a model case of global cooperation. Thanks to widespread agreement that eradicating smallpox was a worthy goal, scientists...
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About the Author

İnci Ötker-Robe is an adviser at the International Monetary Fund’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

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