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The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations: A Comment on Paul Kennedy and the Parliament of Man (El Pasado Como Prologo: El Futuro Glorioso Y El Turbio Presente De Las Naciones Unidas (Revista De Paul Kennedy, El Parlamento De La Humanidad))


Kenneth Anderson


American University - Washington College of Law; Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; Brookings Institution - Governance Studies

November 1, 2008

Revista de Libros de la Fundacion Caja Madrid, No. 143, November 2008
American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2008-72

Abstract:     
This is the original Spanish language version of an essay (10,000 words) appearing in the Revista de Libros (Madrid), considering the history and future of the United Nations and global governance through the lens of Paul Kennedy's recent work, The Parliament of Man. The essay is highly skeptical of what it describes as platonism about the future of the UN as the seat of global governance. It offers an alternative view of how to consider the work of the UN, in three areas: security, economic development, and values. The essay argues that, particularly with the rise of new great power tensions and multipolarity, the fantastic dream of the UN as the seat of a gradually arising global government, as Kennedy imagines things, should be given up in favor of a UN devoted to a modest set of quotidian tasks and the place for the great powers to engage in multilateral discussion, argument, and negotiation.

Note: Downlodable document is in Spanish. The English version is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1265833

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: United Nations, Paul Kennedy, global governance, Parliament of Man, UN, Security Council, General Assembly, Nato, international security, development, human rights, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki Moon

JEL Classification: K33

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Date posted: November 16, 2008 ; Last revised: December 17, 2008

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kenneth, The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations: A Comment on Paul Kennedy and the Parliament of Man (El Pasado Como Prologo: El Futuro Glorioso Y El Turbio Presente De Las Naciones Unidas (Revista De Paul Kennedy, El Parlamento De La Humanidad)) (November 1, 2008). Revista de Libros de la Fundacion Caja Madrid, No. 143, November 2008; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2008-72. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1300693

Contact Information

Kenneth Anderson (Contact Author)
American University - Washington College of Law ( email )
4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
Brookings Institution - Governance Studies
1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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