A report card for the world: Needs improvement

There are dozens of ratings of countries on various measures of governance, but you don't usually see the progress of the whole international community assessed. 

A new feature from the Council on Foreign Relations' International Institutions and Global Governance program gives the international community letter grades for how governments and institutions are working together to solve a number of pressing global challenges. (IIGG's Stewart Patrick explains more here.) The grades are based on the assessments of 50 experts, many of whom will be familiar to FP readers.

So how's the world doing? Well, let's just hope the professor is offering some extra credit assignments before the end of the semester:

Climate change: D

Global finance: B

Nuclear nonproliferation: C

Armed conflict: C+

Public health: C

Terrorism: B

I suspect the B for global finance might be surprising to many. The report finds that "the international financial regime earned high marks for defying the predictions of disaster and for taking advantage of the crisis to embark on much-needed reforms."

All the same, that's a cumulative GPA of 2.22. I'm not sure the world can afford to skate by on a gentleman's C.

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images