♠ Posted by Emmanuel in Governance at 2/05/2010 01:23:00 AMWhen I started my current job as a research fellow here at the LSE, I opined that it was like being at the centre of the academic world. Or, it was so at least for the social sciences. A few months in, I can confidently confirm this initial impression. London is arguably the world's most cosmopolitan city, and at the heart of it lies my school. Although I was expecting much from an elite institution, I have only become more awed by the sheer difference the school's name and location make in terms of drawing oodles of funding, talented researchers, keen students, well-known speakers, and the rest of it. Being someone who affects egalitarian principles, however, I wonder if all this concentration of knowledge, talent, power and capital is unhealthy. After all, aren't we supposed to be in a globalized age where those attributes ought to be more widely diffused? Ironically, it may mean that this institute founded on Fabian (~socialist minded) principles is generating rather than reducing inequality...in the academic realm.
Though it's an entirely unoriginal idea, it may be that modern information technologies are widening the gap between the knowledge worker haves and have-nots even in academia. That is, a small coterie of superstar academics will be able to ply their trade in a manner similar to other global elites. Certainly, it's food for thought: If you want to make it big in modern academia, you had better get yourself among the emerging jet set and master the art of generating favourable attention for yourself and your institution.
What brings these thoughts to mind is the launch of what I think is the academic journal to end all other academic journals. Our colleagues at the Global Governance department have launched Global Policy, a new publication featuring a constellation of academic stars in the scholarly firmament. Take a look for yourselves: on its advisory board are the Columbia trifecta of Bhagwati, Sachs, and Stiglitz. There's also a certain Dani Rodrik there from the economist's realm. Throw in the likes of John Braithwaite, John Ruggie, and Robert Keohane and it's a virtual Who's Who of the social sciences. Meanwhile, the practitioner's advisory board includes, among others, certain folks named Pascal Lamy and Muhammad Yunus. A few weeks ago, I tipped you about the Rodrik-Stiglitz journal Globalization and Development, but Global Policy seems to be on another plane altogether in terms of ambition by looking well beyond economics.
In addition to its multidisciplinary emphasis, this journal has a dual focus on academic and policy contributions. For instance, among the first issues' highlights are General David Petraeus discussing counterinsurgency lessons he gleaned from Iraq as well as the head of the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) Douglas Alexander commenting on how the economic crisis has impacted the world's poorest countries. Luckily, it seems the current issue is entirely ungated for now. What follows are the research articles within which should be of interest to most IPE Zone readers. Otherwise, I'd wonder why on Earth you're reading this blog!:
Global Governance and Systemic Risk in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Financial Crisis (p 4-15)
Ian Goldin, Tiffany Vogel
Understanding the Global Dimensions of Policy (p 16-28)
G2 in G20: China, the United States and the World after the Global Financial Crisis (p 29-39)
Overcoming Global and Regional Collective Action Impediments (p 40-50)
Global Governance after the Financial Crisis: A New Multilateralism or the Last Gasp of the Great Powers? (p 51-63)
Contrasting Future Paths for an Evolving Global Climate Regime (p 64-74)
Scott Barrett, Michael Toman
Making Markets for Merit Goods: The Political Economy of Antiretrovirals (p 75-90)
Ethan B. Kapstein, Joshua W. Busby
International Adoption: The Human Rights Position (p 91-100)
The last one sounds interesting for the Madonna-and-Brangelina crowd; maybe even for Bruno fans. I wish their (our?) new enterprise well as it's the sort of journal I'd like to have thought of myself in combining a multidisciplinary focus with a practitioner orientation so it does not lose relevance in the real world. From Nobel Laureates to Lord Nicholas Stern of climate change fame, it's literally loaded from stem to stern with those making much-vaunted policy impact. How could you not aspire to be in this company if you're at all interested in global governance? (OK, you could be a libertarian or a neocon, but still...)