Book Review: To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States Written by Guy Fiti Sinclair
International Organizations Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2018 (Forthcoming)
9 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2018
Date Written: 2018
To Reform the World by Guy Fiti Sinclair is an ambitious and important book that painstakingly sketches a pattern for the evolution of international organizations (IOs) throughout the 20th century. Looking diachronically at the International Labor Organization (ILO), peacekeeping within the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank (WB), Sinclair claims that the expansion of IOs powers beyond their original mandates is inseparable from the export and imposition of the liberal mentality and epistemology of the Western modern state. While these broad claims can be found elsewhere in the literature, a unique strength of the book is the unrivalled comprehensiveness, rigor and consistency of the approach sketched to establish them. A second noteworthy feature of the book lies in its diachronic historical approach.
The book is less persuasive regarding its:
(i) focus on discourse and Sinclair's reliance on Foucault’s approach to the liberal mentality of the modern state; and,
(ii) potential to open up the promised space to re-think IOs and the pursuit of global justice.
Keywords: International Organizations, Liberal Modern State, International Legal History, Governmentality
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