Infectious diseases were the first global problem that nation-states realized they could not solve without international cooperation. The question is whether the countries will work together in combating the 2019 novel coronavirus.
In Perpetual Peace, Immanuel Kant imagined a world unified under global government that preserved order and kept the peace. Even a cursory glance at the news is proof that Kant’s dream is as far off as ever. Nevertheless, there are already some institutions—the United Nations, international courts, the World Bank—that may yet transform themselves into the forerunners of a more internationalized governanceare system. And increasingly, there are a number of specific, often technical, areas where international cooperation is so robust that a trajectory toward something akin to international governance is an real possibility. In the coming years, internet governance offers a particularly compelling test case.