Traditional public goods are well-known: national defense, street lighting, fireworks, etc. The traditional view is that these goods are unable to be provided by the market, and therefore had to be provided by an external agent, typically the state. Globalization, however, has deeply transformed the debate on the provision of public goods. Externalities are no longer confined to the national boundaries, and states are no longer in the position to provide goods such as environmental protection, security or free trade. These goods qualify as global public goods, whose effects concern different countries and generations. In order to provide these goods, mechanisms of international cooperation are needed.
The concept of global public goods is now an important instrument of international policy-making, yet it remains little understood. The goal of this course is to describe and assess these new mechanisms of international cooperation, which shape the debate on global governance.
The course should appeal to students wishing to pursue a career in international organizations, and/or with an interest in international economics and politics. No prerequisite is needed, and neither is economic training.
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Part I: What are global public goods?
- Desai – Historical perspective
- Hardin – Tragedy of the Commons
- Kaul & Mendoza – Advancing the concept of global public goods
Part II: Global public goods in a globalized world
Session 3: Climate change, or how to tackle a ‘global public bad’
Session 4: Environmental protection: how do environmental agreements work?
Session 5: Health: epidemiological surveillance and medical breakthroughs
Session 6: Cultural heritage
- Ready and Navrud – Why value cultural heritage – Chap. 1
- Pagiola – Economic Analysis of Investment in Cultural Heritage
Session 7: Peace and security: are international organizations useful?
Session 8: Communications, knowledge and cyberspace
Session 9: Education and research
- Neubaer – Public Goods and Private Commodities The Case of Higher Education
- Nelson – Basic Economics of Scientific Research
- Naert – Higher Education and GATS
Part III: Providing global goods
Session 10: Different mechanisms of international cooperation
Session 11: The problem of compliance and the role of international organisations
Session 12: Conclusion