Discussion paper

DP15407 Designing an International Economic Order: A Research Agenda

The institutions that have sustained global economic cooperation for the past 75 years are under threat. Despite admonitions that global peace and prosperity are at risk, poli- cymakers in important countries ignored the rules of the multilateral order in recent times and moved down the path of unilateralism and economic nationalism. What role can social scientists play in redesigning the international economic order? We offer a research agenda for contributing to the reform and improvement of global institutions. The research agenda is guided by three themes: threats, solutions, and leadership. Threats refer to the deep causes of the crisis in global institutions, not the symptoms or expressions of those prob- lems. Solutions refers to institutional reforms required to address deep threats to the global order. Leadership addresses the challenge of coordinating efforts to supply international institutions, which can be thought of as global public goods. We demonstrate the value of this research agenda by applying it to the World Trade Organization.


Bowen, T and J Broz (2020), ‘DP15407 Designing an International Economic Order: A Research Agenda‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15407. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15407