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The UN: Where to now? « Previous | |Next »
March 10, 2003

A large part of the conflict around the forth-coming war on Iraq centres around the role of the United Nations as a governing institution in the world of nations. We are in the first skirmishes in a long battle about the role that should be played by international institutions in a global world. Is the UN a debating club; an instrument of the national interest of sovereign nation states; a governing institution that tempers or constrains the power of hegemonic states; or the first step toward world government.
This puts the issue squarely on the table. There were some interesting remarks made on this issue in the Freedom and Terror post at philosophy.com in the comments section.

The role of UN needs to be discussed in the context of American global hegemony in which the US as the dominant power retains its no.1 position in the world of nations, seeks to push aside obstacles to advancing its own self interest, and counters all attempts to develop countervailing power (eg. by Europe).

But too much power byone state activates resistance amongst other states due to fear of their own security (eg. North Korea). Nation states like Russia China, or Europe fear that a hegemonic US will use its power to aggrandize itself and get its way at their expense. So they will act defensively to offset hegemonic power, seek to become a great power, and form counterbalancing coalitions against the US and its subservient allies. Hegemony contains the seeds of its own destruction.

Why not view the UN as one way to counterbalance US hegemony? Why not counter this hegemony with greater Australian independence within Asia, rather than the current policy of cuddling up to America and independence from Asia.? But such talk these days meets with the charge of anti-Americanism, seeing the US as a malevolent force; automatically choosing to disbelieve everything US officials say; and putting the most sinister interpretation on every American action.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:58 AM | | Comments (0)
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