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Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When We Need It Most, Thomas Hale, David Held and Kevin Young

Reviewed by Peter M. Haas



Globalization is now one of the defining characteristics of world politics, and one of its most contentious. In Gridlock, Thomas Hale, David Held, and Kevin Young offer an ambitious and sweeping treatment of contemporary global issues that combines sociology, political economy, and international relations.

They argue that although post‐World War II international institutions encouraged globalization, they have failed to keep up with the challenges of globalization. Post‐World War II institutions contributed to improved pros­perity, free trade, a managed peace, and spreading democratization. The institutions were backed up by a stable bipolar balance of power, common global norms of embedded liberalism, and a willingness to delegate to experts.

Yet, the institutions spawned a whole set of seemingly ungovernable social externalities that elude sovereign institutions: terrorism, failed states, piracy, cyber security, pandemics, the control of multinational corporations, and financial governance.

A series of major cleavages that occurred in the 1970s brought into doubt the current utility of the existing landscape of global governance. Complex interde­pendence,new actors,and the blurringofforeign anddomesticpolicy(andthus

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