The 1990s were a decade characterized by optimism about a great future that lay ahead for generations to follow. Major challenges were approached with a realization that the world leadership had the capacity not only to meet them, but to turn them into unprecedented opportunities for global social and economic progress. In Missing the Tide, Donald Johnston demonstrates that none of these opportunities achieved their objectives, and in some cases failed completely. Scrutinizing some of the most significant unfulfilled hopes, he looks at the failure of the West to engage effectively with a democratic Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the European Union’s fractious path to intending to become history’s largest and most competitive economy, the expansion of the Marshall Plan concept to regions fractured by division and conflict, the diminishing prospect of global free trade and investment to stimulate economic growth and increase prosperity in the developing world, the absence of coordinated international actions to combat climate change, the pervasive corruption in corporate governance undermining healthy capitalism, and the growing threats to democracy. Sifting through the economic, social, and environmental wreckage of the past twenty years, Johnston reflects on the failures and frustrations of international public policy. Can this rapid decline be arrested and reversed? In assessing the impotency of the international community to meet these challenges, Missing the Tide extracts some lessons to be learned and looks with cautious optimism to the future.
About the author
Donald J. Johnston is the former secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He lives in Montreal.
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