Enhancing Global Governance: Towards a New Diplomacy

Article excerpt


Edited by Andrew F. Cooper, John English, and Ramesh Thakur Tokyo and New York: United Nations University Press, 2002, xi, 308pp, US$31.95, ISBN 92-808-1074-X

The authors in this edited volume examine new trends in 'global governance' through an examination of the practice of the United Nations Security Council, the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and coalitions of like-minded states, and the specific movements that helped to bring about an international convention to ban landmines and the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Several closing chapters examine the future of global governance and look in particular at the role of codes of conduct and corporate actors. The book offers a fascinating overview of the changing nature of international relations, where even as the Security Council has become more active and more secretive, so too have non-state actors and middle powers been increasingly powerful and effective. Sadly, in the era of the Bush doctrine, there may be reason to doubt whether what the book terms 'new diplomacy' may be less efficacious.

The end of the cold war opened up new opportunities for the United Nations system to become active, but it also exposed its flaws. An increasingly active institution was forced to confront its limitations in Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia. At the same time, an energetic Security Council came under attack not only for increasing secretiveness, but also for its lack of representativeness and putative lack of legitimacy. Of concern is not only the veto possessed by the permanent five members, but the unique power held by the United States, not only within the United Nations, but globally. …


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