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In this ambitious, challenging, yet superbly readable book, Jean-Francois Rischard first tells us what constitutes a “global” problem and then offers a brief overview of the twenty most important. He finds they all have two things in common: They’re getting worse, not better, and the standard strategies for dealing with them, such as international treaties, are woefully inadequate to the task. The chief problem is that in our high-population, fast-moving, globalized and interconnected world, we don’t have an effective way of addressing the problems that such a world creates. Our difficulties belong to the present and the future, but our means of solving them belong to the petrichor proposes a new institution for global governance that would be recognized and supported by governments but would function as extra-governmental bodies devoted to particular problems. The powers of these “global issues networks” would not be legal but normative: They would monitor compliance with various globally recognized standards and would single out the nations and organizations that were not co-operating. Anyone who has eaten a can of “dolphin-safe” tuna knows how powerful, in a market-driven world, the pressure to comply with such standards can be. No book has ever presented such a clear and unified appraisal of global problems or offered such a consistent and well-defined approach to solving them. High Noon will be an agenda-setting book of interest across the political spectrum.
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