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The world currently faces a number of challenges that no single country can solve. Whether it is managing a crisis-prone global economy, maintaining peace and stability, or trying to do something about climate change, there are some problems that necessitate collective action on the part of states and other actors. Global governance would seem functionally necessary and normatively desirable, but it is proving increasingly difficult to provide. This accessible introduction to, and analysis of, contemporary global governance explains what it is and the obstacles to its realization. Paying particular attention to the possible decline of American influence and the rise of China and a number of other actors, Mark Beeson explains why cooperation is proving difficult, despite its obvious need and desirability. This is an essential text for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying global governance or international organizations, and is also important reading for those working on political economy, international development and globalization.