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Worlds in Transition

Evolving Governance Across a Stressed Planet Joseph A. Camilleri, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and Jim Falk, Professor and Director, Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society (ACSIS), University of Melbourne, Australia
The book’s detailed analysis of five strategic sectors (economy, environment, health, information and security) points to an intricate and rapidly evolving interplay of geopolitical, cultural and ecological spaces. It shows that the normative ethos and politico-legal institutions of the modern epoch are gradually being eroded. Despite competing trends and countertrends the authors discern the slow, at times ambiguous, often contentious but unmistakable emergence over the last several decades of a new governance regime, one which is striving for a leap in human reflexivity in response to the challenges of a stressed world that is simultaneously singular and plural.
Extent: 704 pp
Hardback Price: £181.00 Web: £162.90
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84376 226 3
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: £51.00 Web: £40.80
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84980 034 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • International Politics
  • Regulation and Governance
We are living through a unique moment of transition, marked by a frenetic cycle of invention, construction, consumption and destruction. However, there is more to this transition than globalization, argue the authors of this unique and penetrating study. In their highly innovative approach, they set this transition against a broader evolutionary canvas, with the emphasis on the evolution of governance.

The book’s detailed analysis of five strategic sectors (economy, environment, health, information and security) points to an intricate and rapidly evolving interplay of geopolitical, cultural and ecological spaces. It shows that the normative ethos and politico-legal institutions of the modern epoch are gradually being eroded. Despite competing trends and countertrends the authors discern the slow, at times ambiguous, often contentious but unmistakable emergence over the last several decades of a new governance regime, one which is striving for a leap in human reflexivity in response to the challenges of a stressed world that is simultaneously singular and plural.

This evolutionary and inter-disciplinary study of human governance in what is a remarkable moment of transition makes for indispensable reading. It will appeal to a wide international audience and will prove an invaluable reference for scholars, researchers and students of the physical and social sciences concerned with understanding the complexities of the current human predicament. Those working in the fields of international relations, economics, politics, security studies, political economy, environmental studies, cultural studies, and science and technology studies will find it especially useful. National and international policymakers will also find much to interest them.
‘The breadth and scope of Camilleri and Falk’s exploration makes it a valuable reference resource for anyone interested in the study of governance under the conditions of an uncertain global life. . . Camilleri and Falk’s endeavor offers a valuable indication of the ways in which current generations can engage meaningfully in designing resilient and sustainable governance mechanisms. In this respect, their book is likely to enrich the endeavors of both students and scholars of political science, history, philosophy, and governance studies.’
– Emilian Kavalski, CEU Political Science Journal

‘Camilleri and Falk have to be truly admired for asking the big questions in politics and in global governance. When I stated earlier that this was not a book to be taken lightly, I was complimenting the authors on trying to seriously understand how we got to where we are today. When so many focus on the crisis of multilaterialism, it is refreshing to read a grounded, thoughtful and engaging account of how global governance fits into the history of humankind and our species ability to save ourselves from ourselves.’
– Susan Park, Australian Journal of International Affairs

‘This study. . . will truly be a text for its times. . . an impressively ambitious piece of historical analysis for an age in which human governance faces both unprecedented challenges and demands and is worthy of engagement by policy-makers and scholars alike.’
– Benjamin Zala, International Affairs

‘This book is timely, expertly researched, successfully executed and will prove prescient regarding our current state of transition. It is my sincere hope that many different types of readers find it and assimilate its varied teaching points. If so, Worlds in Transition will add to our cultural “reflexivity”, and inform the refinement of global governance policies and priorities for our stressed planet in the coming years.’
– Timothy J. Hoellein, Journal of Intercultural Studies

‘This book is a masterpiece of analysis and informed prediction. It is jammed packed with information on the new frontiers of law in our present globalised environment.’
– The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, Former Judge of the High Court of Australia 1996–2009

‘Worlds in Transition is an extraordinary book, the most comprehensive and profound assessment of the overall challenge of global governance yet available. Its ambitious scope extends beyond normal social science to consider the nature and limits of human adaptive capacities strained to the breaking point by the interplay of climate change, globalization, and a fragmented world order.’
– Richard Falk, University of California, Santa Barbara, US

‘At a time of overspecialization in the knowledge industry, it is energizing to read a book that navigates the social, humanistic, and natural sciences. Do Camilleri and Falk succeed in this bold venture? Yes, profoundly! Their tour d’horizon is a romantic journey, a love affair with traversing different branches of learning. Gracefully composed, Worlds in Transition also offers insights into the perils of our era and issues a clarion call for a system of multi-tiered governance to address them.’
– James H. Mittelman, American University, US
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Human Organisation: The Evolutionary Context 3. Governance in the Context of Human Evolution 4. The Modern Epoch and its Limits 5. Economic Governance 6. Governing Atmospheric Flows 7. A Defining Issue of Our Time 8. The Evolving Governance of Information Flows 9. Governance, Pathogens and Human Health 10. Globalisation of Insecurity in the Era of Hegemonic Decline 11. Towards a New Security Discourse and Architecture 12. A Holoreflexive Epoch in the Making? Bibliography Index