IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Summer daze…and CS!

OK, ok…I’ve not been posting very regularly the last couple of months.  No excuse, except a summer mindset (more time on the links, etc…)

I have also been doing some grading of my international relations students’ term papers and exams; and, as usual, that is food for thought.  For instance, one student, when writing about the problems associated with making Collective Security (ie in the U.N. system) more effective, was self contradictory without realizing it  (I hope), and it seemed to me that his views are fairly typical.  At one point he restated the old saws about the inter-state system being anarchic, states being sovereign, etc… as a reason why there is resistance to collective security.  Then, he went on to say that the Security Council of the United Nations had the authority to make decisions about international peace and security that were binding on the organization’s members.  While I can understand his reasoning, taken at face value, those two statements are not compatible.  Either the system is anarchic–meaning no central authority–or it isn’t.  In actual fact, we do have a sort of “central authority”, and it is, indeed the Security Council.  However, while its powers are extensive (check the Charter…they are); the conditions for exercising them (ie SC approval, with all permanent members having the veto) are quite restrictive.

You see, what seems to slip by most people is that a–dare I say it–“world government” might  just as well be very loose, relatively ineffective and inequitable in its actions, as tight, authoritarian and unitary.  Both are forms of government.  However, we always imagine the latter when we hear the term, and therefore, might miss that we already have one (at least to some extent).

How’s that grab you!




July 25, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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