Walls are going up. Trade deals are going down. And regional unions are crumbling apart.  

Does the rise of nationalism threaten the future of transnational cooperation? Will narrow national interests trump shared international concerns? And will diminished prospects for cooperation damage global stability and increase the risk of war? 

The End of International Cooperation? brings together leading experts who research, analyze, and debate the prospects for cooperation and possibilities of conflict in a changing world. Academics and policymakers assess the effects of rising populism and the shifting balance of power on global governance. Is the future really as bleak as it seems?  

David Bosco, an associate professor at Indiana University, questions whether we’ve been here before. Comparing Donald Trump’s hostility to international institutions to Charles de Gaulle’s in the 1950s and 1960s, he shows the durability of multilateralism. Columbia SIPA’s Richard Gowan looks at the wild recent months of diplomacy at the United Nations. Despite conventional wisdom, there are surprising continuities, rather than discontinuities, between the approaches of the Obama and Trump administrations to the UN. And Thomas G. Weiss, a presidential professor at the City University of New York, asks whether the world would be better without the UN. His short answer is no—the UN remains a crucial, although sometimes unacknowledged, component of the international system. 

In our peer-reviewed articles, Columbia SIPA’s Dirk Salomons analyzes the current tragedy of humanitarianism, arguing that fully funding humanitarian responses is essential for stability and national security. Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, writes that education and respect for heritage should be top priorities during conflicts and disasters.  

Michael Eckhart, a managing director at Citigroup, considers whether the world will continue to fund solutions to climate change. The world already has the technology and resources to do the job and anti-globalization and nationalism won’t be enough to slow momentum in financing climate solutions. Jenik Radon, an adjunct professor at Columbia SIPA, and Mahima Achuthan outline the cure to the ills exposed by the Panama Papers, arguing that disclosing beneficial ownership can prevent the loss of natural resource revenues and mitigate the resource curse. 

Global trade analyst Leonardo Scuira evaluates whether the European Union will slowly disintegrate after Brexit and as concerns about immigration continue to mount. Lisa Davis, a professor at the City University of New York’s School of Law and the human rights advocacy director for MADRE, examines how to help the survivors of gender-based violence in Iraq find shelter. And Middle East historian James Bowden analyzes regional security cooperation in the Middle East, considering the Peninsula Shield Force and the Gulf Cooperation Council.  

We also interview C. Fred Bergsten, director emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, about the war on globalization. The Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer discusses geopolitics and the current and future threats to international stability. And Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator and a former prime minister of Belgium, offers his take on Britain’s departure from the EU and the future of Europe.  

The winner of our student essay contest, Yoonhye Kim, looks at the timely issue of media bias and so-called fake news, arguing that it is often impossible to separate facts from norms because journalists’ factual descriptions are inextricably linked with audiences’ normative interpretations. Lastly, we review Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra, The Populist Explosion by John B. Judis, The Only Game in Town by Mohamed A. El-Erian, States in Disguise by Belgin San-Akca, and A World in Disarray by Richard Haass.  

There’s no shortage of hyperbole about events in recent years. We are proud to feature such an impressive group of scholars who offer sober analysis and new research on cooperation and conflict in the world ahead.  

—The Editors