Highlighting the role of collective imaginations for global cooperation pathways, this synthetic overview draws together the findings from a rich set of case studies covering different historical periods, policy fields, and world regions. It makes four contributions to deepen understanding of how imaginations shape pathways of cooperation. Firstly, it develops a typology of mobilizing, identity, cognitive, emotional, and normative effects that, understood as processes, inform and shape pathways for global cooperation. Secondly, it discusses how actors use imaginations and imaginaries as multiple layers of meaning -making to create, challenge, and change such pathways. Thirdly, it shows how imaginations can become particularly influential if underpinned by practical staging of the constituent visions and memories in the present and circulated through various modes and channels. Finally, this overview opens up new avenues for a better understanding of the contingent and open-ended nature of global cooperation pathways in times of multiple crisis.