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Managing Complexity

Economic Policy Cooperation after the Crisis

Edited by Tanim Bayoumi, Stephen Pickford, and Paola Subacchi
Managing Complexity

Read the introduction here.

The global financial crisis of 2007–09 highlighted the economic interdependencies between all major countries, raising the issues of international cooperation. Managing Complexity looks at how, following the global financial crisis, countries have changed the way they cooperate with each other on matters of economic policy.

In this volume, the result of a joint research project of Chatham House and the International Monetary Fund, researchers and policymakers who were directly involved in the crisis take a critical look at the challenges facing international policy cooperation in the new postcrisis environment and at how the theory and practice of cooperation have evolved as a result of the crisis.


“The progress in policy cooperation at both regional and global levels has been very disappointing since the Asian Financial crisis. Due to lack of trust, countries are reluctant to concede their sovereignty for regional policy cooperation. At the same time, global institutions shaped by the post-war hegemonic international order are incapable of providing leadership for global policy cooperation. I cannot agree more with diagnoses made by managing complexity on the problems and causes of the lack of policy cooperation in the global economy. I am sure that managing complexity will help decision-makers to design better roadmap for policy cooperation so as to minimize the adverse spillovers of the reserve currency countries on the global economy.” 

Yu Yongding, Academician, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); former Director, Institute of World Economics and Politics, CASS


Tamim Bayoumi is deputy director of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department of the International Monetary Fund, where he oversees several strands of the multilateral policy and research agenda. He was previously head of the division covering the United States and Canada in the Western Hemisphere Department and the chief of the economic studies and modeling divisions, both in the Research Department of the IMF.

Stephen Pickford is a senior fellow in the International Economics Department at Chatham House in London, focusing on economic policies and governance in Europe and the G-20. Before that he was a senior policymaker at the U.K. Treasury, and he has worked at the IMF and the World Bank.

Paola Subacchi
is director of international economic research at Chatham House in London, where she works on international economic governance. The author of several books, reports, and articles, she is also a media commentator and writes regularly for Project Syndicate and Foreign Policy.

Praise for Managing Complexity

The progress in policy cooperation at both regional and global levels has been very disappointing since the Asian Financial crisis. Due to lack of trust, countries are reluctant to concede their sovereignty for regional policy cooperation. At the same time, global institutions shaped by the post-war hegemonic international order are incapable of providing leadership for global policy cooperation. I cannot agree more with diagnoses made by managing complexity on the problems and causes of the lack of policy cooperation in the global economy. I am sure that managing complexity will help decision-makers to design better roadmap for policy cooperation so as to minimize the adverse spillovers of the reserve currency countries on the global economy.
—Yu Yongding, Academician, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); former Director, Institute of World Economics and Politics, CASS

The financial crisis brought about a new era in policy cooperation. Managing Complexity sets out the issues from multiple perspectives—from academics to practitioners, from the U.S. experience to that of East Asia. It is important reading for all those interested in policy cooperation.
—Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Bringing together policymakers, academics, and policy experts, Managing Complexity draws a lucid picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the global governance framework, as well as incentives for and impediments to international cooperation. Economic theory is clear that international cooperation can enhance economic outcomes: this book illustrates why the reality is much more complex.
—Reza Moghadam, Vice Chairman for Global Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley

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