IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Betwixt and between

It is hard, for several reasons, to make sense of the world; and it is understandable that many people talk about rising “disorder” or even “chaos”.  However, there are, I think, understandable reasons for this situation.  One is that the world we knew, that we thought was “solid” is turning out to be “fluid” or at least not so solid.  The parameters are changing, we are in some sort of, to use what is now something of a cliché, paradigm shift.  Or, put another way, more and more we are confronted by GGI’s–ie Global Governance Issues– that just won’t go away (much as we wish they would).

Or to quote (for the “nieme fois” as the French say) W.B. Yeats‘s “The Second Coming”:  “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…”.  We are probably not conscious of the degree to which this is actually happening.  However, consider to what an extent “issues” keep cropping up for which solutions cannot readily be found, or in regard to which the existing structures of world order (for lack of a better term) don’t seem adequate.  The Euro crisis is a good example.  The Euro was/is a good idea, but it wasn’t set up with enough means to keep it on track.  Or look at the U.N. Charter.  The world had just had a terrible trauma (ie WW II) and it was pretty clear that change was necessary, and yet the limits of peoples world views prevented the founders of the organization from really creating means adequate to deal with the realities of world politics then and now.  Or, consider the current wave of intra-state conflicts.  Certainly, international norms have evolved to some extent, and “non-interference” in a state’s internal affairs can be side-steppe by the Security Council if they deem that those “affairs” are creating threats to international peace and security (…and don’t “pooh pooh” this:  it is a significant innovation).  However, the main actors (in most cases the permanent members of that same SC) have to be willing to act, to really take the principle of Collective Security seriously…and to date they are not yet always ready to do that.  So, we often get responses to crises that are too little, too late (or at least seem that way).

Such are the “interesting” times in which we live.  It will probably get worse before it gets a lot better, in that the limitations of our world order and the mindset(s) that underpin it, will become more and more obvious; and the crises these limitations create will be more acute…and it is exactly this which brings significant change.  So, to reiterate my main message for early 2012:

“IGbarb says:  fasten your seat belts, we are in, and will probably remain in for some time, a zone of turbulence.”


January 11, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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