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Rethinking International Institutions

OXFORD – When the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions were established nearly seven decades ago in the aftermath of World War II, economic and political power was concentrated in the hands of a few “victor” countries, making it relatively easy to reach consensus on how to restore international order. But, since then, global governance has become increasingly muddled, impeding progress in areas of worldwide concern.

Not only do more than 190 countries now belong to the UN; publicly funded international institutions have proliferated, with not one multilateral institution having been shuttered since WWII. The result is an inefficient and confusing amalgam of overlapping mandates.