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Democracy at the United Nations

UN Reform in the Age of Globalisation


Edited By Giovanni Finizio and Ernesto Gallo

What role should the United Nations play in a globalising world? How can it support and embody international democracy? The decline of state sovereignty, an effect of globalisation, is bringing about a crisis both in politics, as a tool to pursue the common good, and in democracy, as the key instrument by which we can control our destinies. The UN, the only organisation with broad political goals and worldwide jurisdiction, has the potential to manage globalisation democratically and promote the common good of humanity. However, it is still controlled by nation states and operates according to power relations typical of the pre-globalisation era. UN reform is therefore crucial, today more than ever.
This book examines two areas of reform: first, the creation of a democratic assembly in which world citizens are represented, in order to adapt democracy to meet the challenges of globalisation; and second, the strengthening of the Security Council through democratisation and regionalisation, in order to ensure world security, whose characteristics have evolved significantly in the global age. The contributors come from a wide variety of different backgrounds, including political science, sociology, economics, law, philosophy and history, providing a multifaceted and multidisciplinary debate on this important topic.


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PART I UNITED NATIONS REFORM AND CHANGING WORLD POLITICS 29 A World of Regions? New Regionalism as a Response to Globalisation and the Decline of US Hegemony Mario TELÒ 1. The EU as a Democratic Polity? From a longue durée perspective, European regional integration could be considered as a regional democratic polity in the making, that is, a process of democratic consolidation on the basis of shared universal values, common rules and procedures. In this respect, we can stress the following points in terms of the achievements of the European regional experience from 1945 to 2008:1 a) Peace between former enemies has been consolidated through re- gional cooperation/integration. It is not only the Franco-German recon- ciliation but a broader process at a quasi-continental level: a kind of “internal foreign policy” by the member states, according to Jürgen Habermas (1998) and to Luigi Bonanate (2001). b) As a complement to point a), European integration also means a consolidation of democracy within the state. The EU’s success is not only an intergovernmental event but also implies a gradual transfor- mation of transnational relations between societies and an evolution of national political cultures beyond nationalism, especially in previous dictatorships: Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Central and Eastern European Countries. c) This process of domestic democratisation doesn’t mean that the European Community itself was a democratic polity since the very beginning. The democratic conditionality, as membership is concerned, 1 My paper draws especially on both the work of preparation and...

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