The Architecture of Collapse: The Global System in the 21st Century (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies)

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9780199683604: The Architecture of Collapse: The Global System in the 21st Century (Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies)
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Why are there so many crises in the world? Is it true that the global system is today riskier and more dangerous than in past decades? Do we have any tools at our disposal to bring these problems under control, to reduce the global system's proneness to instability?

These are the tantalizing questions addressed in this book. Using a variety of demographic, economic, financial, social, and political indicators, the book demonstrates that the global system has indeed become an 'architecture of collapse' subject to a variety of shocks. An analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China, and the European sovereign debt crisis illustrates how the complexity and tight coupling of system components creates a situation of precarious stability and periodic disruption.

This state of affairs can only be improved by enhancing the shock-absorbing components of the system, especially the capacity of states and governments to act, and by containing the shock-diffusing mechanisms. In particular, those related to phenomena such as trade imbalances, portfolio investment, cross-border banking, population ageing, and income and wealth inequality.

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About the Author:


Mauro F. Guillen, Zandman Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Director, The Lauder Institute,

Mauro F. Guillen is the Zandman Professor of International Management at the Wharton School, and Director of the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania. His research has to do with globalization and its impact on patterns of organization and on the diffusion of innovations. He is the author of a dozen books and over 40 scholarly articles. He is an elected fellow of the Sociological Research Association, a former Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of the Aspen Institute's Faculty Pioneer Award, and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals at the World Economic Forum.

Review:


"Few social scientists have the urbane vision and capacious intellect of Mauro Guillén. His dissection of the shock inducing and absorbing features of our interconnected world system vividly details the risks we presently face, but also paves the way for steps that could cushion the present volatility."

-- Walter W. Powell, Stanford University


"A brilliant critical engagement with different interpretations of what makes a system prone to failure. The author develops a multi-level and multi-nodal analysis that allows him to single out strategic sources of systemic instability and to demonstrate what can be done."

-- Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, author of Expulsions


"A fascinating perspective on the sources of instability in the global system. Professor Guillén brings to bear powerful concepts from the study of system complexity. A must read for anyone interested in financial markets, international migration, and the rise or fall of nations."

-- Simon Johnson, MIT Sloan School of Management and former IMF Chief Economist


"That our increasingly interdependent system of nations is suffering from regular bouts of instability is as obvious as it is alarming. The Architecture of Collapse offers a lucid and very original analysis of the causes and remedies of this worrysome trend. Is a must read for policymakers and academics and anyone interested on a more stable work"

-- Moisés Naím , Carnegie Endowment, author of The End of Power


"This book offers a sobering analysis of the risks facing the global economy, from population aging to financial inter-connections. The policy recommendations are important and timely."

-- Lady Barbara Judge, CBE


"A fascinating book explaining the risks afflicting the global system. The chapters on the Great Recession and the Euro Zone provide a rich analysis based on new metrics."

-- Jean-Pierre Rosso, Chairman, World Economic Forum USA


"A careful conceptual construction of complexity and coupling... [providing] new insights into why countries are likely to experience more frequent crises. Guillén skillfully navigates a multidisciplinary interrogation of the increasing fragility of the global economic system."

-- CHOICE


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