Michael Bess is the Chancellor's Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His fifth and most recent book is Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. This study focuses on the existential risks posed by climate change, nuclear weapons, pandemics (natural or bioengineered), and artificial intelligence – surveying the solutions that have been tried, and why they have fallen short thus far. Bess describes a pathway for gradually modifying the United Nations over the coming century so that it becomes more effective at coordinating global solutions. Planet in Peril explores how to get past ideological polarization and global political fragmentation, drawing lessons from the experiences of environmental movements and European integration.
Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University.
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