Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pg. 99: Scott Barrett's "Why Cooperate?"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Scott Barrett's Why Cooperate?: The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods.

About the book, from the publisher:
Climate change, nuclear proliferation, and the threat of a global pandemic have the potential to impact each of our lives. Preventing these threats poses a serious global challenge, but ignoring them could have disastrous consequences. How do we engineer institutions to change incentives so that these global public goods are provided?

Scott Barrett provides a thought provoking and accessible introduction to the issues surrounding the provision of global public goods. Using a variety of examples to illustrate past successes and failures, he shows how international cooperation, institutional design, and the clever use of incentives can work together to ensure the effective delivery of global public goods.
Among the early praise for Why Cooperate?:

"An idealistic as well as sensible prescription for how to tackle in a practical manner the genuinely complex issues of our new global era."
--Zbigniew Brzezinski, Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

"Scott Barrett offers a simple yet powerful architecture for the different incentives that make international cooperation, in matters as diverse as measles and oil spills, greenhouse gases and nuclear proliferation, necessary or unnecessary, achievable or unachievable. Like his earlier Environment and Statecraft (Oxford 2003) this one is game theory at its most lucid, most valuable and most accessible -- an exciting and rewarding book."
--Thomas C. Schelling, 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics Laureate and Distinguisted University Professor, University of Maryland

"Scott Barrett deals with some of the most important global issues of the day with a clarity and lightness of touch which never betray the complexity and depth of the problems. Cooperation among nations is essential for such consequential issues as nuclear warfare, health, climate change, and economic development. Barrett goes beyond the net gains from cooperation to stress the different reactions to be expected as the gains and costs of cooperation are differently distributed. His distinctions will open up new paths in both policy formation and development."
--Kenneth J. Arrow, 1972 Nobel Prize for Economics Laureate and Professor of Economics, Stanford University

"As interdependence among nations has increased dramatically, bringing globalization into the midst of acrimonious debates, the question of who provides international public goods, and in what way, has assumed great urgency. Scott Barrett, in a magnificent book, has explored this problem in all its complexity and provides answers that are of immense value. Barrett's book should become a classic."
--Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University

Scott Barrett is Professor and Director of International Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He was previously an advisor to the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, and drew upon his work for the Task Force in preparing this book. He wrote the book while on sabbatical as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University. He is well-known for his work on international environmental agreements, Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making (2003), for which he received the Erik Kempe Prize.

The Page 99 Test: Why Cooperate?.

--Marshal Zeringue