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Why Cooperate?: The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0199585212
ISBN-10: 0199585210
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Editorial Reviews


Review from previous edition: "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. Cooperatoin 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

"Inadequately provided global public goods offer a rich agenda for the future; the relevant issues, along with many historical examples of both successes and failures, are intelligently addressed here" -Foreign Affairs

About the Author

Scott Barrett 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. His previous book, Environment and Statecraft, was published by OUP in paperback in 2005.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199585210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199585212
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel H. Cole on September 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In his previous book, Environment and Statecraft, Scott Barrett elaborated an extremely useful game theory-based approach to international treaty-making. In his new book, Why Cooperate?, Barrett once again applies game theory, in an accessible and convincing way, to several different international cooperation or coordination issues, including climate change, disease eradication, and catastrophe avoidance (e.g., asteroid strikes). Perhaps the book's most important contribution is to unpack the concept of "global public good," by illustrating that different types of global public goods have different properties that (a) make them easier or more difficult to provide and (b) require different approaches to resolving collective action problems. In the first three chapters, Barrett identifies and compares three general types of global public goods: "single best effort" goods; "weakest link" goods; and "aggregate effort goods." In the rest of the book, he addresses the different issues that confront international efforts to provide those various goods. The book is an extremely valuable contribution to several different literatures, including game theory, international relations, climate change, and economic development. Barrett's clear and engaging prose makes it accessible and useful for advanced scholars and casual readers alike. VERY highly recommended.
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