New Book “The Architecture of Collapse” Reveals Disruptions and Resilience of Global Economies

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Wharton School’s Mauro Guillén answers the why, the how, and the why now of 21st century economic collapse

The Wharton School’s Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania today announced publication of a new book from Lauder Institute Director and Wharton School professor, Mauro Guillén. The book, The Architecture of Collapse (Oxford University Press) challenges conventional wisdom, exploring how ‘shock’ factors such as aging populations, market complexity and bi-lateral relations between the US and China are playing out for increasingly interconnected economies and the likelihood countries can absorb the fallout.

“The global system has become more unstable due to the way in which it is structured,” writes Dr. Guillén. “Most demographic, economic financial, political, social, and cultural indicators suggest that this evolution of the global system towards instability is here to stay.”

Guillén’s book outlines the high-impact risks facing both local and global economies and details how the evolution of interconnected markets designed for efficiency have left many economies exposed.

“Few social scientists have the urbane vision and capacious intellect of Mauro Guillén,” says Walter W. Powell, of Stanford University. “His dissection of the shock inducing and absorbing features of our interconnected world system vividly details the risks we presently face, but also paves the way for steps that could cushion the present volatility.”

Simon Johnson, MIT Sloan School of Management and former IMF Chief Economist, says, “A fascinating perspective on the sources of instability in the global system, Professor Guillén brings to bear powerful concepts from the study of system complexity. A must read for anyone interested in financial markets, international migration, and the rise or fall of nations.”

The book is based on the Clarendon Lectures that the author delivered at Oxford University, published by Oxford University Press and is available for purchase online at

About the Author:

Dr. Mauro F. Guillén is the Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, and Dr. Felix Zandman Professor of International Management at the Wharton School. He has written extensively about multinational firms, economic development, and the diffusion of innovations. His personal website is at:


About the Lauder Institute:
The University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, founded in 1983, combines a world–renowned Wharton MBA with a Master’s in International Studies. Advanced language and foreign culture training, a two-month in-country immersion program, and a research project from the School of Arts & Sciences all prepare Lauder Fellows for the ever-evolving global economy. This year’s offerings include the new Global Program for students who are already fluent in several languages. Graduates join the diverse, supportive and committed worldwide Lauder community – continuing a nearly 30-year tradition of international business leadership. The Lauder Institute also offers an MA/JD joint degree. For more information, visit

About the Wharton School:
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 94,000 graduates.

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Allison Bozniak
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