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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 III STRENGTHENING AND DEMOCRATISING THE SECURITY COUNCIL 217 The Evolution of Security in a Globalizing World Fen OSLER HAMPSON 1. Introduction In several key respects, our perceptions of global security have changed radically over the past 20 years. The Cold War bipolar system gave way to an early post-Cold War upsurge in both internal conflicts and in attention to conflict management. In the immediate post-Cold War period, the world’s attention shifted from tracking superpower rivalry, counting nuclear warheads and arguing over “Star Wars” (as US President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative was called in the press) to witnessing regular outbreaks of civil war on nearly every continent. Global security was redefined in regional, local or functional terms, and the tasks undertaken to provide security widened to protect- ing civilians from massacre from their own governments as well as shoring up weak or failing states. International security became increas- ingly divisible. This period was followed in turn by a short interval of successful international peacemaking just prior to the events of 9/11. The experiences in Mozambique, Cambodia, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and elsewhere seemed to argue for a strong role for outside third parties, often identified simply as the “international community,” in helping to settle internal conflicts and to guarantee settlements between states as well. After the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and the ensuing reprisal against Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies, there was a partial return to the concept of global security...

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