torstai 27. toukokuuta 2010

The illusion of the world government

Since the World War II[1], the United Nations, the UN has had the responsibility for the collective security in our globe. The UN Charter Chapter VII sets out the UN Security Council's powers to maintain peace. The most famous article 42 allows the Council to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and to take military and nonmilitary action to restore international peace and security. The UN Charter's prohibition of member states of the UN attacking other UN member states is central to the purpose for which the UN was founded. Theoretically, the UN Charter relies on John Lockes’ ideas that postulate social contracts[2], first among citizens in order to establish an organized political community (state), and second between citizens and rulers about the transfer of power from the former to the latter, defining their mutual rights and obligations[3].

The UN Charter established a constitutional-like order among member states that is governed by the rule of law and viewed as legitimate by all its member states. The UN Charter is based on the assumption that policies of assertive multilateralism and cooperative security promote better international order and stability, than what would exist under traditional balance-of-power politics. The UN Security Council[4] is the organ charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. The decisions of the Council are known as UN Security Council Resolutions. The legally binding nature of Resolutions has been the subject of continuous controversy. In the case when the Council cannot reach consensus a resolution, it is possible to produce a Presidential Statement that is non-binding in its nature. This kind of complex decision-making is the reason why the UN Charter has been so difficult to empower.

In the 80s, the end of the Cold War raised expectations that the foundations of a new world order could eliminate new wars. The time of hegemonic wars of superpowers was over and the rebuilding of international institutions was focused more than the struggle for hegemony. The problem of a new world order is that international conflicts are dramatic and episodic. They are no more traditional wars but so-called terrorism or small wars. In the 80s, the Balkan crisis escalated into ethnic cleansing[5]. Since then, there were many multilateral interventions, both the UN/ EU actions and the NATO actions. The massive intervention by the US and its NATO allies in Europe in internal conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo is an example of military operations through which third parties intervene in civil conflicts to stop the fighting[6]. The problem was that the multilateral intervention of the UN could not stop militarization and human rights violations. The Serbian government's actions in Kosovo followed the same pattern that was applied by Serb forces in Bosnia[7]. The Serbian government repeated its historical pattern of military actions, and the UN involvement in Bosnia can be classified as a catastrophe.

Contrary to popular belief, little actual intervention took place. There was a clear contrast between the firm rhetoric of the Security Council resolutions[8] and actions. When enforcement did take place, it was the NATO that acted, not the UN. The reason was the same as many times earlier and later. The Security Council was unable and even reluctant to punish the UN member state of its aggressions against civilians. The U.S., Russia and China concentrated in their own political maneuvering and paralyzed the decision-making of the Security Council. Somewhat later the UN was passive in responding to the bloody conflicts in Rwanda and other parts of Africa. The interdependencies of the UN member states seem to weaken their capacity to deal with cross-boundary crises. In that sense, the UN has simply been unprepared for the complex conflicts like the organised mass murders that characterised the last decades. The political tensions in the UN have coursed many other negative effects like unwarranted political influence of multinationals and downward pressures on labor and environmental standards.

The legitimacy of the UN to intervene in humanitarian crises is highly dependent on its member states that exercize the legitimate power over their own territories[9]. The strengthening of international governance, especially in the field of the protection of human rights and the treatment of minorities is necessary. Unfortunately, the UN lacks the potency to equalize power disparities. The UN can only make international conflicts more civilized and less brute[10].

The People's General Assembly of the UN has repeatedly indicated an emerging consensus that the time is ripe for reformulating the UN's rules of the game by making them more compatible with democratic principles. These top-down approaches have long been wishful thinking[11]. Many of the UN’s specialized organizations like UNESCO have succeeded well and they are important part of the networking with NGOs[12]. Referring to the UN’s important principles of human rights and sustainable development, the UN is particularly suited to integrating discrete groups into an international organization and facilitating transnational institution building. Due to the increasing number of intra-state wars, the nature and means of international peace and democracy missions have changed. In complex intra-state wars not only military intervention is needed but multidisciplinary operations which include a wide range of civilian tasks, from coordinating humanitarian assistance and human rights monitoring to supporting institution building. NGOs not only address vital issues of the world environment, human rights, religious conflicts, migration, and refugees, but also have created methods of collaboration over borderlines.

Interventions to a state in crisis can be unilateral (one state takes action) or multilateral (such as UN or NATO action). There are certain conditions[13] associated with multilateral interventions that will increase the likelihood of success. An alternative model to multilateral legitimacy is still the historical model of dominance. For many years to come, the U.S is the only one reaching the status as a military superpower with global reach, although China and India are expected to be formidable economic powers in the future. The EU is doomed to walk in the shadow of the US and the NATO as long as its member states are reluctant to establish a political union as a necessary condition for conducting a single foreign and security policy. Max Boot[14] has noticed that the small war has been a way of furthering American interests. The judicious application of military force as the only option in regions where diplomatic or economic incentives fail to persuade can be potentially dangerous policy to follow in the time of globalization. Boot highlights the shadow of Vietnam that has the corrosive effects on US foreign policy. Boot sees the U.S. as an altruistic agent in international affairs that is solely responsible for the collective security in our globe. In that sense, the Pax Americana can be seen as parallel concepts with the Pax Romana and the Pax Britannica. However, Boot’s vision of the Pax Americana contains return to the UN norms: the peace-keeping, peace enforcement, and humanitarian missions.

Unlike the model of world government, the model of global policy networks is not based on any political doctrine. Network model can be seen as a reflection of new trends in international relations that shows fragmentation of formerly unitary state structures, increasing direct contacts across national borders of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in public policies. On the global scene, the recent appearance of NGOs in practically all spheres of interest can be interpreted to signal the dynamics in international cooperation. The anti-globalization and environmental NGOs can be harmful to G8 countries and multinationals, but this is exactly what democracy is about. A good reason to favor the network-based and bottom-up approach is the fact that the most formidable, global networks use this approach. In Anne-Marie Slaughter’s judgment, global networks increasingly exchange information and coordinate activity to combat crime and address common problems on a global scale.[15] Like Anne-Marie Slaughter has pointed out A New World Order can only be based on network approach on the bottom-up instead of top-down.

Since the 1990s, when the Balkan crises erupted, the EU has been trying to make the transition from reacting to crises on an ad hoc basis, to anticipating and preparing for such crises. The EU has strengthened the civilian side of conflict management. A key issue is the training and rapid deployment of qualified civilians. The EU has established civilian crisis management capabilities in police, civilian administration, rule of law and civil protection. The EU challenge is to link the institutional approach to the network approach of governance. The EU’s special resources and its unique legitimacy as representative of the common interest makes it the outstanding candidate for fulfilling the role of network manager, a role which means arranging and facilitating interaction processes within networks in an open, transparent and balanced manner[16].
The EU brings together the states and societal actors for mobilizing pan-European flows of ideas, knowledge, funding, and people. Attention is given to NGOs[17]. State and civilian actors are involved in networks ranging from the EU-level to decentral sub-national levels in the member states.

In Africa, the major obstacle of institution building is the local armed conflicts[18]. Small arms are the weapons of mass destruction of the poor. They have had a great destructive influence on political and social structures. The reasons for armed conflict vary. There is a clear need for better analysis of the root causes of conflict and of the early signs of an emerging conflict[19]. In some countries, the government has failed to govern. These governments are unable, or unwilling, to provide security and basic governmental services in their territories. Failed states are first and most humanitarian disasters, where the main victim is the population. Increases in population, declining economies, poverty, environmental degradation, injustice, and foreign debts are typical reasons to failed states that are also becoming an increased threat to international peace and security. Nevertheless, despite all the technological advances, it appears that military means are not any more reasonable to be used.

[1]This conflict split a majority of the world's nations into two opposing camps: the Allies and the Axis and resulted in the deaths of 60 million people. More than 100 million military personnel from 61 nations were mobilized. However, nearly two-thirds of those killed in the war were civilians. Of particular note was the Holocaust, which was largely conducted in Eastern Europe, and resulted in the killing of around or even more than six million Jews and other minorities by Axis forces.
[2]The notion of Social Contract, although particularly influential in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, has a history which reaches back to the time of the ancient Greeks. The term refers to the act by which men are assumed to establish a communally agreed form of social organization.
[3]Clark, Grenville and Sohn, Louis (1966) World Peace Through World Law: Two Alternative, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
[4]The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of five permanent seats and ten temporary seats. The permanent are China, France, Russia, the UK and the U.S. These members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms with member states voted in by the UN General Assembly on a regional basis.
[5] The concept refers to practices aimed at the displacement of an ethnic group from a particular territory.
[6] Regan, Patrick M. (2002) Civil Wars and Foreign Powers: Outside Intervention in Intrastate Conflict, University of Michigan Press.
[7] Pevehouse, Jon and Goldstein, Joshua (1999) Serbian Compliance or Defiance in Kosovo? Statistical Analysis and Real-Time Predictions, Journal of Conflict Resolution 43, pp.538-546.
[8] Condemnations, demands, appeals for cessation of fighting, free passage of humanitarian aid and adherence to humanitarian law.
[9]According to Max Weber, the state is the source of legitimacy for any use of violence. The police and the military are the main instruments, but private forces in the form of associations and networks are also legitimated by the state. Weber, Max (1946) Science as a Vocation, in Gerth, Hans and Mills, Wright (eds.) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, Oxford University Press, New York.
[10] On 21 March 2005, UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, released his report “In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all”.
[11]Richard Falk of Princeton and University of California at Santa Barbara, see his Reforming the International: Law, Culture, Politics, edited by Falk, Richard & Lester, Edwwin J Ruiz, & Walker, R.B. J. New York, Routledge, 2002.
[12]Since the World Summit on Social Development at Copenhagen (6 - 12 March in 1995) at Copenhagen, the U.N. itself has fully recognized the persuasive power of NGOs.
[13]Patrick Regan identifies three historically rooted conditions:
- mutual consent of the parties involved,
- impartiality on the part of the intervenors,
- the existence of a coherent intervention strategy.
Patrick M. Regan (2002) Civil Wars and Foreign Powers: Outside Intervention in Intrastate Conflict, University of Michigan Press.
[14] Boot Max (2002) The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, New York: Basic Books.

[15] Anne-Marie Slaughter points out that not only terrorists, arms dealers, money launderers, drug dealers, traffickers in women and children, as well as the pirates of intellectual property operate through global networks; government officials, such as police investigators, financial regulators, and even judges and legislators, also work in such networks. Slaughter, Anne-Marie (2004) A New World Order, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[16]Kickert, Walter J.M., Klijn, Erik-Hans & Koppenjan, Joop F. M. (1997) Managing Complex Networks: Strategies for the Public Sector, Sage Publications Inc.
[17]Fisher, William F. (1997) Doing Good? The Politics and Antipolitics of NGO Practices, Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 26: 439-464.
[18] During the 1990’s, there were 111 armed conflicts in 74 locations. Half of these were major conflicts (more than 1000 battle related military deaths). Conflict has directly killed more than 2.5 million people in the last decade, and displaced and uprooted over ten times this number (31 million people). The international community spent € 200 billion on seven of the military interventions of the 1990s. Preventive action in each case would have saved € 130 billion. (Wallensteen, Peter and Sollenberg, Margareta (2001) Armed Conflict, 1989-2000, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 5, 629-644, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University).
[19]There are many factors which are early signals of potential conflict: Poverty, economic stagnation, uneven distribution of resources, weak social structures, undemocratic governance, systematic discrimination, oppression of the rights of minorities, refugee flows, ethnic antagonisms, religious and cultural intolerance, social injustice, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti