Thinking about Global Governance: Why People and Ideas Matter, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Thinking about Global Governance

Why People and Ideas Matter, 1st Edition

By Thomas G. Weiss


368 pages

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One of the more prolific and influential analysts of multilateral approaches to global problem-solving over the last three decades is Thomas G. Weiss. Thinking about Global Governance, Why People and Ideas Matter, assembles key scholarly and policy writing.

This collection organizes his most recent work addressing the core issues of the United Nations, global governance, and humanitarian action. The essays are placed in historical and intellectual context in a substantial new introduction, which contains a healthy dose of the idealism and ethical orientation that invariably characterize his best work.

This volume gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of these key topics for a globalizing world and is an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.


'Thomas Weiss has seen the UN from within. There he was confronted with many, if not most, of its strengths and weaknesses. As an academic he has dug deeper and thought further about them and this collection reflects the full depth and breadth of this exercise. It stands as an impressive testimony to the idealism and scholarship of its author and is an indispensible guide for anyone thinking about global governance'

Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations.

This is the definitive Tom Weiss: all of his major work on the UN, non-state actors, and humanitarianism in one place. It is a book that every student of multilateralism and the UN system will need.

Craig N. Murphy, University of Massachusetts Boston and Wellesley College, USA

Tom Weiss has thought longer and harder about the concept and practice of global governance than just about anyone else. This excellent volume is not only an introduction to his writings over the years on the topic - it represents a personalized tour of some of the most important issues of our time.

Michael Barnett George Washington University, USA

This impressive collection provides a comprehensive treatement of the crucial institutional and substantive issues that have faced the United Nations and other institutions of global governance over the last two decades. It is essential reading for both academics and for international policy-makers

S.N. MacFarlane, Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Relations, Oxford University.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: United Nations, Plus ça change 1. Reinvigorating the International Civil Service 2. How UN Ideas Change the World 3. What Happened to the Idea of World Government? 4. Moving Beyond North-South Theatre 5. World Politics: Continuity and Change since 1945 with Sam Daws 6. An Unchanged Security Council: The Sky Ain’t Falling Part 2: Non-State Actors and Global Governance 7. The ‘Third’ United Nations" with Tatiana Carayannis, and Richard Jolly 8. Framing Global Governance, Five Gaps With Ramesh Thakur 9. Governance, Good Governance, and Global Governance: Conceptual and Actual Challenges 10. Pluralising Global Governance: Analytical Approaches and Dimensions with Leon Gordenker Part 3: Humanitarian Action in a Turbulent World 11. Political Innovations and the Responsibility to Protect 12. The Fog of Humanitarianism: Collective Action Problems and Learning-Challenged Organizations with Peter J Hoffman 13. The Humanitarian Impulse 14. The Sunset of Humanitarian Intervention? The Responsibility to Protect in a Unipolar Era 15. The Politics of Humanitarian Ideas 16. Principles, Politics, and Humanitarian Action 17. A Research Note about Military-Civilian Humanitarianism: More Questions than Answers

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions