Globalization and technology have created new challenges to national governments. As a result, they now must share power with other entities, such as regional and global organizations or large private economic units. In addition, citizens in most parts of the world have been empowered by the ability to acquire and disseminate information instantly. However this has not led to the type of international cooperation essential to deal with existential threats.
Whether governments can find ways to cooperate in the face of looming threats to the survival of human society and our environment has become one of the defining issues of our age. A struggle between renewed nationalism and the rise of a truly global society is underway, but neither global nor regional institutions have acquired the skills and authority needed to meet existential threats, such as nuclear proliferation. Arms control efforts may have reduced the excesses of the Cold War, but concepts and methodologies for dealing with the nuclear menace have not kept up with global change.