Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Secrets in Global Governance
Disclosure Dilemmas and the Challenge of International Cooperation

$99.99 (P)

Award Winner

Part of Cambridge Studies in International Relations

  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108478571

$ 99.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Scholars have long argued that transparency makes international rule violations more visible and improves outcomes. Secrets in Global Governance revises this claim to show how equipping international organizations (IOs) with secrecy can be a critical tool for eliciting sensitive information and increasing cooperation. States are often deterred from disclosing information about violations of international rules by concerns of revealing commercially sensitive economic information or the sources and methods used to collect intelligence. IOs equipped with effective confidentiality systems can analyze and act on sensitive information while preventing its wide release. Carnegie and Carson use statistical analyses of new data, elite interviews, and archival research to test this argument in domains across international relations, including nuclear proliferation, international trade, justice for war crimes, and foreign direct investment. Secrets in Global Governance brings a groundbreaking new perspective to the literature of international relations.

    • This book examines in a wide range of issue areas, including economics, human rights, and international security
    • Challenges the existing literature by offering a re-assessment of the role of secrecy in diplomacy and global governance, both its benefits and trade-offs
    • Provides scholars and practitioners with new insights about how global governance works with non-specialized terminology
    Read more


    • Winner, 2021 International Collaboration Section Best Book Award, American Political Science Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is frequently argued that disseminating information helps international organizations to promote cooperation. Carnegie and Carson, however, maintain that international organizations that reveal sensitive information actually inhibit cooperation. Analyzing war crimes, international trade, nuclear proliferation, and foreign investment, they demonstrate that international organizations can help to address this problem by establishing systems to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information. The result is a fine book that makes a key contribution to our understanding of international organizations and global governance.' Edward Mansfield, University of Pennsylvania

    'With a compelling theory backed by comprehensive evidence, this book overturns the conventional view of how international organizations function … From the WTO legal hearings on airplane subsidies to the defense of victims targeted in ethnic cleansing, rich case studies highlight when and how international organizations help states manage information. Statistical analysis reveals why this matters - for trade flows, justice, and understanding international cooperation.' Christina L. Davis, Harvard University

    'One of the most interesting and creative books written about international organizations in recent memory. It made me think about an old issue in a new way … A must read for anyone interested in political institutions and global governance.' Matthew Fuhrmann, Texas A&M University

    'A masterful new book … A great example of modern social science …' Michael C. Horowitz, University of Pennsylvania

    ‘… this book provides a strong blueprint for how these organizations can stay relevant and strengthen the international rules-based order by adopting confidential ity systems to resolve disclosure dilemmas.’ Ethics & International Affairs

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108478571
    • length: 362 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Theory
    3. Sensitive Information in Global Governance: The Past and Present
    4. Nuclear Proliferation
    5. International Trade
    6. War Crimes
    7. Foreign Direct Investment
    8. Conclusion.

  • Authors

    Allison Carnegie, Columbia University, New York
    Allison Carnegie is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. She is the author of Power Plays: How International Institutions Reshape Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

    Austin Carson, University of Chicago
    Austin Carson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Secret Wars: Covert Conflict in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 2018).


    • Winner, 2021 International Collaboration Section Best Book Award, American Political Science Association

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.