Old Security Council in a new World Order
The Concept of Order
Unlike many other concepts of political, economic and social sciences, the concept of order and its meaning do not divide the discipline into great definitional debates. “Order in as much as it means peaceful coexistence under conditions of scarcity” wrote Talcott Parsons and Edward Shills, “is one of the very first of the functions imperatives of social systems. Order implies a relationship among items based on some principle. It often carries a suggestion of or is even used synonymously with harmony or stability, as in Saint Augustine’s definition, “the distribution which allots things equal and unequal, each to its own place”.
In its broadest sense, order is all understanding, or at least all political understanding, and politics is the search for order. Inherently, therefore, when an incumbent system of world order breaks down, as did the bipolar system of the Cold War, and particularly when it breaks down without an approved designated successor, the component pieces engage in a search for a new order. And since they seek not just any order, but order on the global level, that search is purposeful even if not explicit, intense even if not deadly, involving power even if not violence; the search itself serves as part of the new order and its characteristics.
There are a number of types of decision-making procedures that define how order in a society is achieved. The following adhere to the fundamental typology that is based on the type of decision-making procedures, which, although mixed in reality, are limited in number in their pure form:
- Authoritative, commanded from the top of a hierarchical structure, whether executive or judicial, imperial or hegemonic.
- Coalitional, composed of subgroups of shifting size in which the largest or strongest part decides for the whole, the most common forms of which are alliance-related and democratic; depending on whether the component unit is a state or a person.
- Negotiated, composed of formally equal subgroups operating under the unanimity or unit veto rule, as in international organizations similar to the United Nations and specifically the Security Council and national institutions.
- Inherent or spontaneous, run by the hidden hand of some external agency or inner force such as the market.
As it usually happens; when clear concepts meet the real world, the current international order is a bit of all of the above. Another typology often invoked draws on the relation among the component units, depending on whether they are equal or unequal and whether their relationship is therefore symmetrical or asymmetrical. Yet, in reality there is no equality in international or probably any political relations, although this fact is generally at odds with the legal fiction of interstate equality.
Although the concern of this article lies in the international field, the world order system is composed of state units whose domestic orders are relevant to the shape of the global whole. It may be reassuring, or at least hopeful, that democracies do not fight each other, as asserted by most scholars, but other systems do, and democracies fight them too, as just one example of the intrastate-interstate linkage.
Power and Order
Most important for this inquiry is the relationship between power and order. For all its definitional uncertainties, power is the central concept of political science and also the cause of order, whether exercised in authority, coalition, negotiation, or more automatic dynamics. “Politics for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within states”, Max Weber averred the fact that distribution is always asymmetrical to some degree provides the dynamics of politics, within as well as between states. “Inferiors become revolutionaries in order to be equals”, Aristotle wrote; “and equals in order to be superiors”.
Power provides the structure for world order, as order is the structure for power. A manifestation of that the culmination of the winning parties after World War Two producing the Security Council exercising structural power of commanding magnitude.
The two prominent notions of power, as a relation or as a possession, are linked but also underlie some diametrically opposite understandings. The first notion, power as a relation, is ex post and conclusion oriented; it can be appreciated only after an event has taken place, and it is dependent on an outcome of an encounter. As a result, it can be added up over time, but is only grossly predictive and specifically inaccurate. More broadly, it is actor- oriented, dependent on the user’s will and skill. The second notion, power as a possession, is ex ante and anticipatory; it can be calculated before any interaction, and it assumes (wrongly) that aggregate sources always produce identifiable outcomes. This notion reads results into structure and subordinates freedom (or at least wisdom) of choice to its structures. Nigeria and South Africa do not often get their way in Africa, where they are profoundly strong in their region. Thus, to assume a coincidence between the two notions of power is inaccurate: The United States does not always get its way either, although it is the strongest on the world scene. But the debate remains over how often, in what instances, in what way, and with what freedom of policy choice it does get its way, and how many times the structural power of the Security Council is utilized?
The next question concerns the way one arrives at a particular order, a matter of importance under system or regime change, whether in the international system mutating from bipolar coalitions to uni-polar hegemony or multi-polar pluralism or in domestic polities in transition (from authoritarian order presumably to democracy). The domestic question has occasioned a vigorous literature pointing to the importance of power holders negotiating pacts to retain protection, if not position, in the transition.
Analysis of the evolution of the international system that produced the United Nation’s Security Council is limited by the uniqueness of the current case, the only instance of system change without a major war. The United States arrived at a hegemonic position through the exercise of its enormous economic power, and demonstrated to the Soviet leaders their ability to use the Security Council more effectively.
However, the United States now finds itself in a predominant position in which its power (as a possession)—its gross domestic power in Seyom Brown’s term—is unable to accomplish its goals (as a relationship); hence, its best course of leadership is to assert its power by restraining it, as subsequent arguments in this article indicate, a central question addressed by Robert merit mentioning is: What is power and what is the order built on it?
Earlier debates over bi-polar versus multi-polar stability in international politics have turned into a debate over hegemony versus multi-polarity, and the ongoing debate over the importance of a hegemon versus a middle power coalition for regional integration and international cooperation continues into the new world order with so many pressures to change the existing power structure in the Security Council of the United Nations.
Although the verdict seems to have tilted in favor of bipolarity and then hegemony over multi-polarity as the key to stability, there is a tinge of argument to please the court or acquiescence to the current order of things in the analysis. Unfortunately, a deeper but less satisfying conclusion is, arguably, that any of the three orders is stable if it is played “right”: that is, each order contains stability mechanisms of mutual restraint whose use depends on the dominant parties’ sense of responsibility (to maintain stability!) and not on any inherent homeostasis. To identify unilateral philosopher kings, bilateral regimes, and the multilateral balance of power as such mechanisms confirms the need for a place for will and skill in political analysis, along with more objective mechanisms and regularities.
Such mechanisms offer structural possibilities similar to the Security Council but not secluded to it, but they are not automatic and require will on the part of the agent and skill in the necessary processes to operate. Although developed polities in general have worked out their institutional structures, developing countries continue to debate the effects of a centralized, if not authoritarian, power structure versus a pluralistic system, whether parliamentarian or dual executive. The most notable enactment of this debate occurred in the early 1990s in the twelve countries of Africa where civil society made the extraordinary move of seizing sovereignty from the authoritarian incumbent in sovereign national conferences (SNC) and drawing up a new social contract.
The same question faces other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America that feel the same desire for transition from authoritarian rule, even without a SNC. An authoritative order faces the challenge of keeping the father of the nation dynamic and honest, whereas the coalitional order faces the challenges of keeping the coalition stable or the great coalition honest and dynamic, and the negotiated order faces the challenge of participation, recognizing both those who are part of the problem and those who are not part of the problem as legitimate parts of the solution. The question remains how can a Security Council produced in the 1940s of the Twenties century cope with these neo developments of inter and intra power relationships?.
Even though democracy is without exception the favored solution to the power-and-order problem, it is used to justify truly democratic, democratizing, and undemocratic orders and its inevitable abuses and inefficiencies return the analysis to focus on remedies for problems of effectiveness and responsibility, especially when such a debate touches of the reformation of the Security Council. By the same token, its remedial insignificance on the domestic level should give pause to those who would seek to create a “democratic” international order, whether with states or with populations as the component units, where equivalent remedies have yet to be invented, as well as to those who look to democracy without preparation as a quick fix, either from within or from without.
The millennium brought a startling, or refreshing, new angle to the problem of power orders by introducing the prospects of weakened states facing an increasing number of challenges. In internal politics, the need for the state, whatever its power structure, to rely increasingly on cooperation with non-state actors returns to prominence the concept of civil society as a crucial element in the internal order and an answer to the problems of effectiveness and responsibility. International politics has already begun to grapple, still inconclusively, with the problem of permeable and circumvented sovereignty weakening the fiber of its state system. It also increasingly recognizes the role of nongovernmental organizations in preparing, supporting, and implementing state initiatives. As a result, negotiation, rather than authority or coalition democracy, has become paramount as the decision-making order within the networks, dialogues, regimes, and outsourcing that are needed to tie the pieces together.
The state has come back as the heart of political analysis, just in time for the body politic to be subject to invasive surgery and bypasses to overcome its sclerosis. Thus state building (the correct translation of the misused term “nation building”) has again resurfaced as a major link in the rise of the non-state challengers to the state system and a major challenge to the leaders of the world order system, whether for mission or structural reasons.
Scholarship paces events, as it should (despite the claims of external interference through this relationship). After all, there is more scholarship these days on state collapse or democratization than on revolution or monarchy, more on multi-polarity than on bi-polarity: “Transformations of political discourse in the West have been a function of changing conceptualizations of threat to the existence of political order”. Thus, after the collapse of communism and under international anarchy, authoritarian order is generally not at the top of the current agenda for research and debate.
The Quest for Order in World Politics
Three forms of order-democratic coalitions, oligarchic negotiation, and inherent, automatic orders-have produced new analysis and concerns. The assertive policy of the United States in the early 2000s restored concern and debate about authoritarian order, if only to put it into perspective. Order through hierarchy is doubtless the oldest type, but the divine right of kings has passed into history in most places. Even as late as the nineteenth century, it was the source of legitimacy in Europe, and in Africa and the Middle East it still is, whether heredity or coup is the source of incumbency.
Even democratic systems have retained strong executive institutions, although they are usually balanced by legislatures and (authoritarian) judiciaries in a separation of powers, or checks and balances. Such balancing is characteristic of international orders, global or regional, as will be discussed next, because by definition they exist in international anarchy (i.e., leaderlessness), the very characteristic that makes assertions of leadership tempting for a great power. It is because of this definitional characteristic that uni-polarity and too ostentatious assertions of hegemony are viewed with disapproval by other members of the system, and also because no one likes to be an inferior. A second, more focused level of objections derives from the fact that the authoritative state and the others are certain not to share all the same interests, and indeed to possess certain opposite interests because of their positions.
Efforts by the central power to assert a total commonality of interests can only go so far. So hierarchy alone is not the source of order, and it is essential to recognize that the United States (to name names) does not consistently, or even frequently, prevail. Indeed, the current concern is not that the United States will lead the pack but that it will ignore it, scarcely a form of hierarchical order.
Order through coalition has received new emphasis in current concerns about the process of democratization and the evidence that previously non- democratic orders of governance lack the coalitional fluidity necessary for their immediate transformation into democratic orders. Balance becomes the source of order; a statesman “must perpetuate order, which he does by keeping the multitudinous aggressions of men in balance against one another”, Jacques Barzun maintains, echoing Bagehot and Talleyrand.
In international politics, order based on the coalition process is an established tradition. The basic mechanism involving a flexible coalition of states wanting to preserve the status quo against a rising hegemon, known as the balance of power or, more recently, balance of threat, is still central to international relations theory.
If half a century of bipolarity took some of the flexibility out of coalition behavior, both within and among the blocs, two decades of post bipolar uncertainties have not produced the anti-hegemonic coalition against Imbalance of Power the remaining superpower that the theory might have predicted, as Kenneth Waltz points out, probably because the hegemony’s political yoke is easy, its economic burden is lightened by a lot of free riding, and its values are widely shared, as Seyom Brown indicates below. US language and behavior, particularly in the first Bush administration of the 2000s, weakened these restraints, leaving much fence mending for the second term and its successors.
In the process, the opposite coalition behaviors of bandwagoning and balking have also come to light as an attractive alternative, particularly for small states. Another new extension has been the analysis of regime building and multilateral diplomacy, theoretically quite different from the generally assumed bilateral character of negotiation, as a matter of managing complexity through coalition. Although basic coalition theory dates from an earlier era, these new uses of the concept have broken out from the simpler assumptions of that theory and require further theoretical expansion and then testing. Yet even in established democratic orders, ascriptive components such as ethnicity and gender pose problems of voter rigidity. The result is that democracy is no longer analyzed with the primary focus on the individual voter, as in earlier studies, but on aggregated votes. Analysts have repeatedly and variously noted that the presumed egalitarian status necessary for free choice by individual voters is negated by the in-egalitarian status of the ascriptive blocs to which they belong and also by status effects on attitudes, participation, and choice, bringing a reexamination of the new relevance of classical solutions to both aspects of the rigidity problem, ranging from proportional representation to gerrymandering.
The rigidity problem has led to other avenues of analysis. The issue of preconditions to democracy is being reexamined. Either socioeconomic development to higher levels of literacy and productivity or economic reform to pluralist economic competition is claimed by some to be a necessary antecedent to competitive political pluralism. Passage from an authoritarian to a democratic order is found to require a negotiated transition of elite pacts to avoid a replication of the authoritarian bloc under new conditions.
Ethnic voting blocs must be broken by cross-cutting, interest-aggregating parties to avoid the creation of permanent ethnic majorities, yet political parties tend to become vehicles for ethnic voting blocs. As scholars come to the conclusion that there is no best form of democratic constitution, research on democratization devolves into the “puzzle phase” as its focus is drawn to transitional institutional structures, voting regulations and practices, transparency guarantees, and post-electoral implementation. The flaws of simple majoritarian systems are receiving greater emphasis as democracy, at its best, comes to be seen as a coalition process in which all have a share in power.
In the legislative arena, the Quest for Order in World Politics has been subject to sophisticated statistical and game-theoretical analysis carrying coalition theory to its most developed point, although circumscribed by the conditions of legislatures. Negotiated orders were the subject of an enormous burst of attention and analysis in the last decades of the previous millennium. Negotiation has been characterized as involving “an initial disorder-the dispute-and an endeavor to reach an order-the settlement”.
It has long been studied in the uninstitutionalized order of international relations, leaving coalition and authority and their variants as the contending systems of order for domestic politics. If there are signal dates in the real world for a new focus on negotiation, they come from the 1960s-between 1962 in international relations, when the Cuban missile crisis turned superpower military confrontation to diplomatic bargaining, and 1968 in domestic relations, when youth around the world refusing authority sought to negotiate new realities. It was also the time of seminal works that launched the analysis of a form of order different from the others—neither commanded nor divided but based on unanimity between and among formally equal parties about a constructed outcome.
The new attention has opened an entirely new area of analysis untouched in previous accounts that dealt only with outcomes—bills, treaties, institutions, states, constitutions—while ignoring the way in which they were achieved. Negotiated orders have a participatory legitimacy and ownership shared with voted orders but without the necessary losers, and the negotiated order’s threefold choice (accept, reject, continue) allows for a positive-sum creativity that the twofold choice of voting and the “no-choice” acceptance of authority do not provide. Negotiation, however, requires recognition of the parties’ legitimacy, an ability to accept half a loaf, and a tolerance of ambiguity in decisions that some situations do not permit. Without the tools of negotiation analysis, it would not be possible to investigate many aspects of world and domestic order such as international regimes, labor-management relations, peacemaking and peacekeeping, business deals, and preparation of legislation; yet it is significant that these very issue-areas are the ones where much remains to be done and learned about negotiation.
Thus negotiation can be treated as both a dependent and an independent variable in the search for order. Two questions dominate: “What is the order inherent in or leading to negotiation?” and “What kind of order does negotiation produce?” Negotiation processes follow one of three patterns (or a mix of them): concession/convergence distributive bargaining, which produces zero-sum (“win/lose”) outcomes; compensating exchange trading, which produces positive-sum (“win/win”) outcomes; or formula/detail integrating construction, which also produces positive-sum (“win/win”) outcomes. There is a high correlation of process to outcome, but the determinants of the initial choice are not yet clear.
Imbalance of Power
Among the three, compensating exchanges and integrating construction produce more stable outcomes since distributive bargaining contains an incentive for later rejection by the losing party - Farhang Rajaee’s “politics of deliberation and inclusion”. Compared to other types of order, institutionalized negotiation orders such as consensus legislation, international regimes, civil society groups, pacted transitions, and institutional amendments, among others, tend to be more creative, more flexible, and more able to handle change. Recent work has reinforced the conclusion that elected orders confirm legitimacy but only as a prerequisite, and that the real work of satisfying cross-cutting majorities and minorities through effective governance is produced by negotiations among the elected parties and their appointed agents.
Most recently, spurred by approaches in other sciences, a new type of order has begun to receive attention, the spontaneous or inherent order, or the political equivalent of the market. International political analysts have long claimed the balance-of-power mechanism to be not a policy option but an automatic pattern into which states’ actions fall, although uncertainty remains as to whether it is indeed an automatic effect or a voluntary policy coalition (including a balancer).
Structuralists, as expressed by Kenneth Waltz, over policy and role in the power distribution of the system. Social scientists and philosophers have long sought an elegant explanation for order in the form of a natural, self-maintaining equilibrium, but in the postwar era, they have asserted but then disclaimed the homeostatic tendencies of social systems. Rational choice analysis carries something of an inherent order mechanism under its innocent assumption of rationality, not surprising since rational choice is putatively the political equivalent of market economics (realist theory is less convincing in the same claim in international politics).
However, the proposal that the political system (state or international system) is the equivalent of the market, larger than the sum of the parts of rational political actors, does not provide the same convincing insights and has already been co-opted and worn out (if not discredited) by the twentieth century’s emphasis on raison d’état, Staatsmacht, and eventually the totalitarian state, and the post-World War II recurrent emphasis on world reformist missions. The millennial search continues for a political order that has its own regularities and mechanisms and can be subjected to scientific theory and analysis, independent of the vagaries of human choice.
In the forms of order-coalition, negotiation, the political equivalent of the market, leaving empire aside-the potential is still underdeveloped. Coalition theory has not kept up with its application; negotiation theory is still a matter of many different views of the elephant; and theorists are still searching for the political equivalent of the market.
The Quest for Order in World Politics
Legislation or diplomatic mandate, coalitions are best subject to theoretical analysis when their components qualify as constituted units with well-determined interests and positions. But when their interests are inchoate and their existence itself the subject of political action, as is most usually the case, even the best analysis becomes inductive or ad hoc. Similarly, negotiation analysis has long been based on an assumption of established positions, bottom lines, and concession/convergence behavior, conditions that allow elegant theory but omit most of the negotiation process and conceive it in unrealistic terms. The political “market” too can only be a process. Important conceptualizations of a political system as a mechanism with explicable and foreseeable consequences, developed in the 1950s and 1960s, have been put on the shelf for the moment, ready for retrieval in response to new questions and new bursts of inspiration.
Concerns About Order
The relation of power to order sets up a further agenda of concerns, some having to do with the dynamics of putative opposites, such as the relation between order and change, and others with supposed synonyms, such as order and justice, or order and legitimacy, or order and law. None is new (what is, in political theory?) but all are of particular concern for the state of world order at the outset of the millennium. The relation between order and change is a continuing concern that the end of the Cold War order has thrown into new prominence, and is taken up in Chapter 4 by Paul Schroeder and Chapter 5 by Charles Doran. Order is not the opposite of change: There is orderly change and the change of orders, as in patterns (or anatomies) of revolution, stages of development, measures of transition, and amendment of constitutions.
Thus, the eternal question regarding the relationship between order and change takes on two meanings: the scientist looks for regularities in new clusters of events, the practitioner (including the victim) looks for orderly-that is, if not nonviolent, at least predictable-change. New subjects of attention for interpretative scholarship on change and order for the beginning of the millennium include interstate systemic transformation, transitions from one type of world order to another and state collapse.
In international politics, the inability of realist theory to explain, let alone predict, the collapse of the bipolar system and the avenues of its succession has raised penetrating questions about its theoretical power and defensive answers about its constrained applicability.
In the now-merging areas of interstate and intrastate conflict, the search for nonviolent change has led to the new field of conflict management, resolution, and transformation, which enables investigation of patterns of conflict and ways of channeling violent conflicts into political interaction.
Indeed, government itself is conflict management, providing an orderly process of change and mechanism for handling conflict among legitimate demands (and resources) and controlling its potential escalation into violence.
Order, like past systems of world order, finds itself torn between selective goals of domestic regime change and regime support against change.
Justice is not necessarily order, any more than is peace or mercy.
Orders are likely to be overtaken by the struggle for justice if they do not already achieve it (Goethe and Houphouet-Boigny notwithstanding), but since the bases of justice themselves change over time; today’s just order may be tomorrow’s cause for revolt.
International politics has looked for order in justice and justice in order on different occasions, for example, as rival organizations seek “peace” versus “peace with justice” in the Middle East. The relationship between order and justice is the subject of Chapter 8 by Farhang Rajaee. Yet neither on the ground nor in the most recent periodic burst of scholarship has a consensual definition of a just order that can stand up to the inevitable changes in criteria been established. For all the travesties that it perpetrated on humanity, communism began as a search for a just order, but order soon became its own criterion, overriding justice, both in its domestic polities and in its regional system. In the case of fundamentalist religious orders (especially Islamist ones), justice is cited as the motivating factor in the imposition of an authoritarian system, with the same inherent deformation as already seen under communism. Whereas after the Cold War the weak hegemonic order may be criticized more for its ineptitude in the pursuit of justice, the Islamist reaction takes on the injustice of the order itself. Since the defeat of world communism and the confrontation with Islamic fundamentalism, democracy has been frequently touted as the way to a just order, although the question plagues the current confrontation as it did the earlier one: Where is justice if the democratic order produces an antidemocratic system?.
Order and legitimacy are distinct terms, so that “legitimate order” is not a redundancy, any more than the might that makes order makes that order right. Legitimacy, defined as “the right to rule”, can only refer to domestic political orders, where rule occurs and where the analysis asks whether the reigning domestic order is indeed legitimate and how legitimacy is determined. There is still no internal answer, despite some sophisticated polling techniques and rational choice analyses; legitimacy is generally judged from the outside, as commentators look in, and is often distinguished from “legal”, the internal measure.
The current criterion for awarding legitimacy, both within states and within the international institutions of world order that they comprise, is the presence of democracy, often elusive to definition and discovery. Yet order and legitimacy are not totally independent of each other: Legitimacy contributes to order, but order contributes to its own legitimacy.
In the anarchic international order, legitimacy needs a new definition, perhaps referring instead to the order’s right to exist, if not back to the concept of justice itself. In the absence of a direct determination, which is more applicable in domestic polities, investigations relating to legitimacy in an international order necessarily involve questions about the process of its establishment, the allocation of its benefits, and the balance of benefits and responsibilities.
As with justice, the question is not raised about the legitimacy of the hegemonic order but rather about the uses to which that hegemony is put.
The relation between order and law is less treated in the current debate.
In the late 1960s, “law and order” became the designation of the right, the forces against change. For Weber, “The political element consists, above all, in the task of maintaining ‘law and order’ in the country, hence maintaining the existing power relations”. In domestic relations, law is roughly synonymous with order, despite the ideological appropriations of the phrase, but the heated debate is over how much of public and private life needs to be ordered by law. While the provision of private socioeconomic security from the cradle to the grave has been somewhat reduced in many countries, legal regulation of everything from abortion to zebra mussels is viewed by many as overly intrusive and sparks a conservative call for “less government”. The answer for many is found in John Locke’s assertion of civil society as an order without authority, with the players capable of regulating their own affairs without invoking Hobbes’s Leviathan, but the relation between the two-the subsidiary question-is unclear: Is law needed to regulate what civil society does not, or is civil society needed to regulate what law does not? Yet civil society is an increasingly important subject of inquiry, particularly in regard to the developing countries, where the problem is an alternative not to intrusive government but to lame or privatized government. In international politics, where there is practically no government at all, the same question is the basis of the dispute between the realists and the liberals over how anarchic the international order is and to what extent state “behaviors” are constrained by regimes, that is, by soft law, institutions, or “principles, norms, rules and procedures”.
The debate is partially definitional, although the liberal school is better equipped to explain cooperation than its opponent, which is more attuned to conflict. The two also split over law’s application in the current asymmetric world order, as highlighted by Gustav Schmidt in Chapter 7: Are the hegemonic law enforcers subject to the same laws, however soft, as the rest of the international community?.
The Universality of Order
It is hard to imagine that any of these concerns could be limited to a particular cultural area of the globalized world or would be a worry to only a Western mind. Order itself is universal, and its forms are limited. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and none is the cultural property of any particular country or region. There may be (or may have been) a Confucian order in China, an Islamic order in Iran, an Enarquic order in France, or a monarchial order in Morocco, but the concept of order is common to them all, and their peculiar characteristics can also be found here and there around the globe. It is hard to compare, analyze, talk of them, or combine them in a global system without using common concepts of order.
Nonetheless, political culture would aver that particular conceptions of order dominate the ethos and practice of large world areas, based on current political systems, historical traditions, predominant religions, and regional configurations, an analysis that both Gustav Schmidt and Farhang Rajaee develop in Chapters 7 and 8, respectively. From this point of view (admittedly generalized and perhaps caricatured), Asia both East or Confucian and Western or Arabo-Muslim can be said to favor am centralized, hierarchical political order, as contrasted with the Judeo-Christian Atlantic West, which is characterized by a pluralized competitive order. China and Egypt would be typical of the first; the United States and Europe of the second. The Confucian system dominant in China (and reinforced by the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology) regards hierarchy as superior to competition as an ordering principle, and enlightened authoritarian command is its form of decision-making. A deeply inbred fear of social chaos (luan) preconditions the Chinese preference for a strong central authority.
A strong government is also perceived to be better able to deliver public goods. Its political geography has long been seen in terms of concentric circles, based on the pivotal Middle Kingdom, and indeed the vast country of China has one time zone. Values are in service of the collective and emphasize communal harmony. Foreigners are held separate, socialization into dominant cultural patterns is the main function of education, and political participation is through the single party. Negotiation becomes difficult to practice, and instructive discourse is preferred. Yet on the interstate level, competition is vigorously engaged, state sovereignty strongly defended, and regional autonomy actively asserted, yielding a non-hierarchical and anti-hegemonic worldview.
Despite very different sources, Arab-Muslim political culture has remarkably similar characteristics, as seen in Egypt and most other Arab countries. The non western democratic system centered around the leader (za’im) is predominant, the single party or at least the dominant party runs the political system, and democracy has a hard time taking hold. If the Arab world is broken up into separate states, the Arab nation and the single Islamic community (umma) are idealized and mythologized, and the classical language of the Quran is the standard of civilization and the word of God (al-Lah). Egypt is the Mother of the Earth (masr umm al-duniya), even if some other Arab states would claim at least paternity. Out of this culture comes the most important current version of the balance of power, a non-state protest movement that seeks to stop the globalizing world and get off, to return to its own imposed view of orthodoxy. Its non-state form reflects the non-state form of globalization and its hydra-formed organization responds to the hegemonic structure of the world order system. Yet it is also an anti-pluralizing movement, attaching corrupt Muslim governments in the name of Sunni atavism and a return to a golden age. Although in both East and West Asia pluralism is bound to exist, it is conditioned and contained within the centralized authoritarian order.
In contrast, the Atlantic West is characterized by competitive pluralism, multiparty democracy, a multicultural stew in the melting pot, and many time zones. The United States is no more united than its federalism will allow, and European unity takes place only by preserving its multistate system.
Where pluralism has to be contained, it is done through binary logic, Manichaean conceptualization between good and bad, black and white, and legal confrontation. France invented and the United States applied the separation of powers within government, and this pluralism has been paralleled historically by the richness of American associational life in civil society.
Even where the European monarchial tradition has left a shadow of centralism, it has been eaten away at the edges throughout history by the English barons, German states, Italian (even including papal) tolerance for ambiguity, and French republicanism. This is a negotiated polity par excellence, combined with the elections and coalitions of democracy. Little wonder that the balance-of-power practice and theory came out of this type of state system.
These vignettes can be either dismissed as caricatures or endlessly debated and diagnosed as clashing civilizations, as can no doubt the whole area of political (or any other) culture. Yet there is a lot of literature and discussion behind the general picture of the three cultures that the vignettes present, and they represent a certain consensus about different notions of order in different parts of the world, even in their abbreviated form. From this point of view, it can be argued that there is a dominant pattern of expectations and discourse about appropriate orders in various parts of the world, whatever the exceptions and blurred edges that might exist. The overriding point, of course, is that these images reflect a common notion of the meaning of order and of the forms it can take, even if elements in that universal typology find different supporting examples from different regions. These different views of the same elephant combine into a single system of world order, larger than the sum of its diverse parts, in which they must find a role, whatever they do at home. In response to the original questions, different regions may answer differently as to which order is preferable, but they enter into the debate on the basis of a common understanding of the orders possible and practiced among massive human collectivities on this earth.
The following arguments join in this debate from nine different points of view. They identify the current system of world order and the position of the United States in it, and in so doing identify its weaknesses and dangers as well as its strengths. To some, the marking characteristic is US hegemony, which determines the type of international order. To others, it is the order itself, larger than the sum of its parts that determines the role of its components, including the United States. Although the separation between these two approaches is not neat and their overlap is great, this difference in emphasis has been used to divide the analyses into two parts in the following presentation.
Yet each of these approaches is driven by a larger argument over the relation between structure and policy. To some, in both approaches, it is the structure of relations that determines the policies of the component parts, who do only what they can do given their place in the system, whereas to others, states have a wider range of policy choices that determine the structure of the world order system. As in the previous dichotomy, the distinction between the two is not hermetic, and they tend to meet each other coming and going. In fact, as often in purportedly sharp academic debates, the argument is circular, and its two sides are complementary: Where you sit depends to a large extent on where you get on the train. Structure is the result of component elements’ choices, which are in turn limited by their place in the structure. The analysis could be termed structural possibilism, in recognition that human choice cannot be contained in any determinism but is free to exhibit brilliant inventiveness as well as stupid mistakes, in addition to predominant regularities.
The four chapters in the first part of the book focus on US hegemony in the international order. The first two chapters center their analyses on the concept of power and its operation within the system of world order. Starting from the fact of US predominance, Kenneth Waltz shows how the hegemon will adopt dominant policies, although it has a choice between preemption, on the one hand, and deterrence and containment, on the other. Faced with the hegemon, the others will seek to keep it in check. Yet, they will be ineffective for the very reason that impelled their attempt at balancing. Robert Jervis, in Chapter 3, is not so sure. In a world order characterized by both wars and security communities, hegemonic policies are inherent in the position of the predominant state. Such policies are understandably inherent in the international power structure, but they are not inevitable. Structure need not preempt choice, and indeed the feedback from
the choice of prevention (or rather preemption) over deterrence has a profound effect on the next round of choice.
The next pair of chapters emphasizes the importance of choice over structure from very different angles. Both, like the preceding pair of authors, see the urge to domination inherent in the US position of power. In Chapter 4, historian Paul Schroeder examines the historical record to analyze the policies adopted by predominant states in their choice between hegemony and empire (loosely construed). Hegemony is equated with leadership in a multi-participant, even if not multi-polar, system, whereas empire means overextension, exhaustion, and ultimately betrayal of predominance’s responsibilities. The historical record shows that the outcome of imperial pursuit is not only policy failure but a return to hegemonic leadership to recoup systemic predominance. The system rights itself at some cost. In Chapter 5, Charles Doran, a quantitative systems analyst, throws doubt on the entire notion of hegemony. No actor, no matter how powerful, is able to impose its policies on the international system, but it can adopt policies that shorten or prolong its predominant position in the power cycles. It cannot overwhelm putative balancing coalitions, but it can gather a coalition around itself, a multilateralism of the willing, that tempers both the single dominance and the countervailing structure.
The chapters in Part 2 focus on the world order system as the context for the hegemon, reversing the emphasis of the first part while maintaining the same elements. In Chapter 6, Seyom Brown sees US hegemony as embedded in a polyarchic field of actors in competition for resources and support. Their classically predicted balancing and bandwagoning around the hegemon is joined by a third policy of balking when the first two become ineffectual. This array of choices structures the system and leaves the hegemon with policy choices of its own (empire, unilateralism, isolationism, and leadership). In Chapter 7, Gustav Schmidt presents a view from within the Atlantic security community but from Europe. Separate policy choices, different definitions of security, and special emphases on welfare mean that the hegemon’s coalition partners have a rising role to play in determining the ruling order. Their imperfect community also means that the global order is really a confederation of regional order, a new texture that other analyses have passed over.
The next two chapters see the international order as one of globalization, although again of very different natures. For Farhang Rajaee, the global order takes the shape of a no-polar world of non-state as well as state players constituting a single multicultural civilization formed and regulated by the information revolution. Where the previous state system was dominated by a search for security, the ensuing system is challenged by the demands of justice. As the new order develops, its participants, no longer just states but humanity, face the classical alternatives of tyranny, rebellion, or civility, mirroring choices posed in previous chapters but in a different form. To Michael Klare and Peter Pavilionis, globalization is characterized instead by a competition for scarce resources, conducted by states for their populations as well as for their own security needs. The structural challenge is constituted by demand outpacing supply, in which the various members of the previously identified orders all face resource inadequacies. Policy choices to avert conflict are technical and specific rather than systemic.
The final window on the unfolding shape of the world is opened by Francis Fukuyama who echoes the inadequacy of both an institutionalized order and a counterbalanced uni-polar order to deal with characteristic conflict. These conflicts are topped by the dual threat of the ultimate nongovernmental organization, the terrorist balancer of the globalized superpower, and the super-empowerment conferred by the potential availability of weapons of mass destruction. The answer, still unfolding, comes in the shape of institutions that contain hegemonic leadership and combine the requirements of legitimacy and power needed for a new and stable system of world order.
The contemporary debate, as it develops in these chapters, is not over differences in the sorts of world order that succeed the Cold War bipolarity or over a competition between regional or cultural models for the global system. The contributors quickly come to agreement over the nature of the hegemonic world order, with some slight disagreement over precisely what name to give it. But thereupon, they debate whether policies and relations within that system are the result of automatic mechanisms of power structures inherent in the hegemonic order, as realism would indicate, or whether they are the result of the goals and ultimately the whims of the hegemonic states and their leaders, framed by normative impulses and institutions as liberals would hope or by public opinion as constructionists aver. Although the answer takes on a partisan as well as an academic tone during presidential campaigns, it is crucial for an understanding of the future, as is the underlying goal of the debate in this collection.
For if the policies of the post-bi-polar hegemonic era are a structural consequence, and then there is little leeway (other then rhetorical) in its future. A balance of power among states may eventually materialize, delayed beyond the currently analyzed reasons by the common need to face the non-state balance of power that brooks no allies and threatens all who ride the tide of globalization. But the opposition of lesser states is merely a structural phenomenon, an occupational hazard; the hegemonic position itself is a lightening pole for envy, cynicism, and jealousy the Venus Envy Complex. The hegemon cannot long rely on self-restraint as the mode of its leadership, and its crusades against evil states (before they become empires) for the democratic salvation of their peoples are measures of its stature. The debate, then, is only about verbiage, the packaging, not the content. In this view, ideology (and history) is not banished by realism but is inherent in it. A state’s policies and means are always in balance, as Walter Lippman told us long ago.
But if the policies of the hegemon and the bystanders are actor-determined, the scope for alternatives is wide, even if not boundless, limited only (and enabled) by secondary structural characteristics, by the institutions the actors accept, or by the public opinion they court and shape. The debate in this view is directly about policy directions and about the pursuit or abdication of ideational (or “missionary”) goals offering wide options. These options may include the speed and decisiveness of response to world conflicts, the purposes of power, the choice and use of allies, the use and acceptance of institutions, and the tone of the message from the hegemon. They could also include a shift to a focus on transnational dangers, from disease to terrorism, or a refocus on the implications of new measures of gross national power (such as oil) in the place of power-structural determinism. In this view, realism provides no guide as to what may or even can happen, although liberal institutionalism and constructivism only indicate additional inputs. But the options will not include the renunciation of the hegemonic role and the responsibilities that go with it. Such is the nature of the imbalance of power the ever-uncertain system of world order.
In light of the above assessment of the world order could we say that the Security Council of the United Nations is still lacking in meeting the drastic changes in the new world system and thus the new reality of the world order? To answer this question on has to structure the answer by breaking it into 21 different undertaking situations:
Council Reform aadly Needed but Solutions are Difficult
In a world system that has drastically changed, There is a need for better Security Council to promote international peace and security and defend international law. Since the Council plays a much more active role than in the past, its failures are more evident and its reform is more urgent than ever. But the path to reform is exceedingly difficult. Nations can agree on the Council’s shortcomings, but they differ sharply on the necessary solutions. All agree, for example, that the Council’s membership and institutional structures reflect outdated geopolitical realities and political thinking, shaped by the world of 1945. The five permanent members, with their vetoes and many special privileges, now arouse widespread criticism as a self-appointed oligarchy. But for more than a decade, nations have been debating Council reform in the UN General Assembly without result. Change in the Council’s membership, the thorniest issue of all, requires revision of the UN Charter. Proposals have come and gone, but no membership plan has yet won the needed support for such a major institutional change. At present, a new burst of diplomatic energy has enlivened this important but much-misunderstood issue.
Council Reform Issues go Beyond Membership Change
The debate on membership expansion (and new permanent members) attracts most of the attention, but Council reform involves much more than the chairs around the table and who sits in them. The Council is far too loosely organized and depends far too much on the management of the permanent five (P-5). By design, it has only minor institutional support from the Secretariat, placing impossible burdens on the delegations of elected members and weakening all efforts at institutional development, precedent-setting and organized institutional memory. Incredibly, the Council’s rules of procedure remain “provisional” after nearly sixty years of operation. The Council’s influential presidency changes constantly in a monthly rotation, producing an organized confusion. Most of the Council’s business takes place behind closed doors, in “consultations of the whole”, away from scrutiny and accountability and lacking any record (such as minutes) that could be referenced by future members. The Council passes many resolutions but only haphazardly enforces them, fueling resistance to perceived “double standards” in its actions. Too often it seems the captive of great power politics with little connection to the needs of the world’s peoples. The ten elected members of the Council say they feel like “tourists” or short-term passengers on a long distance train. In spite of some minor improvements in working methods, the Council remains inflexible, oligarchic and out of touch with the world.
The Council Reform Movement Seeks Disparate Goals but Many Want More Democracy.
Calls for Council reform began in the early 1990s, in response to the Council’s controversial action and inaction (Iraq and Rwanda for example) and the Council’s growing activity in the post-Cold War period. Critics of the Council made seven demands – that the Council be: (1)more representative, (2)more accountable, (3)more legitimate, (4)more democratic, (5)more transparent, (6)more effective and (7)more fair and even-handed (no double standards). Such demands seem reasonable, but they are not easily compatible. A Council of forty members, for example, might be more representative, but it would hardly be more effective. Still, many reformers have sought a more broadly democratic institution that would weaken the oligarchy and create a more diverse and broadly representative body. But reform action has to confront many questions: How best to promote accountability, transparency or other sought-after qualities? How to win political support for a reform package that the oligarchs must accept, and, how to bridge the gaps that exist between diplomatic rhetoric and institutional reality?
Democratic Slogans and Undemocratic Practices
Reformers sometimes ask: how can even the best-organized Council function effectively and fairly in a world where great powers, like Tyrannosaurs, stalk the global landscape? Powerful governments that claim to champion “freedom”, “democracy”, and “good governance”, have been known to behave despotically in the international arena, bending small states to their will and acting in violation of international law. Such powers sit in the Council and cannot be expected to solve problems that they themselves have created. This can be called the “foxes guarding the chicken coop” problem. Some reform proposals, couched in democratic language, would multiply this problem; enlarging the oligarchy by adding five or six other powerful governments. More permanent members would scarcely make the Council more representative, accountable, transparent, legitimate or even-handed. Self-interest, not democracy, motivates these membership claims and a Council loaded with more permanent members would suffer from gridlock and political sclerosis.
“Realist” Reform Arguments
Some scholars and think-tank analysts have argued that reform must bow to “realism” and that the Council must reflect the actual distribution of wealth and power in the world, not abstract ideas of fairness and justice. This line of argument shows an important conundrum in Council reform. How can democracy operate in a state system with such huge global disparities of wealth and power? Clearly, the answer cannot be a Council composed largely or entirely of major powers. Such a body could never command sufficient legitimacy much less arrive at fair and effective decisions. Reforms that appear “realistic” today would soon prove thoroughly unrealistic, leading to further domination, bitterness, destabilization and violence. Effective reform can and must solve this problem. Shallow “realist” thinking and the narrow state-interest of aspirants to permanency will not produce the needed innovation.
Charter-Changing Reform Projects Are Unlikely, Especially for New Permanent Members
Changes in the UN Charter, like all constitutional changes, must command a very high degree of support in the international community. Proponents of any Charter-based reform plan will face great difficulty in winning the necessary two-thirds vote in the General Assembly and still more difficulty obtaining ratifications from two-thirds of all member states, including the mandatory endorsement of the five permanent members. Assent and ratification by the P-5 will be the most difficult (and unlikely) of all. In spite of public declarations to the contrary, the P-5 are content with the present arrangements and oppose any changes that might dilute or challenge their power or expand their “club”. China has already announced it will block permanent membership for Japan and the United States has suggested that it will only support Council reform that commands an implausibly “broad consensus”.
Middle Powers Pursue Self-Interest through Permanency
Influential middle powers Japan, India, Brazil, and Germany have come together as the Group of Four (G-4), supporting each other’s bid for permanent seats on the Council. Brazil would be the only permanent member from Latin America, India and Japan would bring Asia’s permanent seats to three, while Germany would bring Europe’s permanent seats to four. Africa claims two new permanent seats of its own and has at least five aspirants, among whom South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt have the strongest claims. In seeking new permanent seats, these 7+ nations must curry favor with the P-5, who can veto their bid for permanent membership. So the aspirants give up at least part of their independence on the world stage and they abandon, for the time being, alternative reform projects that might be more innovative, lasting and democratic.
Permanent Member Candidates Stir Rivalries that Ensure Defeat
Japan and Germany have realized that they cannot reach permanent status without other new permanent members from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Ironically, however, these Southern partners make the Japanese-German bid even more unattainable. Each additional candidate for permanent status stirs the opposition of its own regional rivals, multiplying the number of opponents. Thus Pakistan opposes India, Argentina and Mexico oppose Brazil, South Korea and China oppose Japan, and Italy opposes Germany – to name only the best-known cases. In Africa, with many candidates in the wings, rivalry has become even more intense. This complex political geometry assures broad opposition and guarantees defeat for the aspirants. Opponents have come together in an organized grouping called “Uniting for Consensus”. The considerable interest attracted by the Uniting for Consensus group and the modest number of co-sponsors of the G-4 proposal suggest the looming collapse of the G-4’s reform initiative.
More Permanent Members Would Multiply the Deformities of Permanency
If the G-4 resolution fails, as it is likely that the Council will escape from a dangerous and crippling reform. As the past sixty Five years have demonstrated, permanency of membership makes the Council inflexible and unable to accommodate change. Like “president for life”, permanent membership sets the stage for future anomalies and provides no avenue for normal evolution as states’ status and power rises and declines in the international system. One ambassador from an elected delegation in the Council called the permanent members mockingly the “H-5” or Hereditary Five, to highlight the anachronism of their status in a world that aspires to democracy. The present five permanent members already burden the Council heavily. Ten or eleven permanents would make matters much worse. Their presence would block future reform and make limitation or outright elimination of permanency far more difficult.
Permanent Members Have Rights but Few Responsibilities
The Council needs the involvement and support of major states to do its work effectively, but the permanent members often fail to meet their responsibilities. Permanent members have offered very few troops and military support to the Council’s peacekeeping operations and some permanent members have even been seriously in arrears with their UN assessments, putting the organization’s finances in danger, and preventing needed peacekeeping operations because of funding caps. An unspoken but key reform issue is: how to make those with the most influence and resources more supportive of the Council and of the UN, without the UN giving in to their blackmail and allowing them to call the shots because of their major-supporter status?
More Permanent Members Would Further Block Council Action
Permanent members, through their veto and veto-threat, prevent the Council from acting on important matters of peace and security that fall within their national interest. Five permanent members already prevent the Council from acting on a very wide range of topics. Five or six new permanent members would exclude many more matters. Indeed, eleven permanents might exclude virtually all topics from the Council’s agenda, making effective Council action all but impossible. The aspirants claim that they are ready to agree not to use their veto for fifteen years and presumably this would reduce the problem of blockage – but only partially. Since their votes would be important in Council deal-making, they could still exercise powerful blocking action and impose their national interests in a manner not altogether different from their veto-wielding colleagues.
More Permanent Members Would Burden the UN with more Specially Privileged Members and Special Perks
The five permanent members have two well-known Council advantages – continuous membership and veto power, both privileges provided in the Charter. But permanent members have wrested many more special privileges and perks for themselves. They insist on the right to control certain high-ranking UN posts and to name the tenants in those posts (or at least have a large influence over who among their nationals may occupy them). They intervene regularly in the workings of the Secretariat and disproportionately influence the wording of reports and the shaping of initiatives. They insist on the right to have one of their nationals sit as a judge in the World Court, so that their interests will be represented there. And they even have their own private lounges at UN headquarters. These privileges for the Five place a heavy burden on the UN, reducing, as a consequence, the rights and privileges of all others. Adding five or six more states in this “first class” category would be a ruinous development.
A Middle Tier of Privilege – the “Plan B” Option and its Variants
The Secretary General’s Panel on “Threats” proposed a new type of Council membership – a middle tier that would be elected but for longer terms, so as to provide a semi-permanent status for middle powers. This solution, sometimes referred to as “Model B” or the “Blue Model”, is seen as a kind of consolation prize for Germany, Japan, Brazil and the rest. Further, by providing a new category of longer Council terms, it recognizes the problem of the very short, two-year terms that elected members have at present. Another proposal presented in the Uniting for Consensus resolution in July, and known as the “Green Model”, proposes simply an expansion of ten more elected seats, with all elected members being able to stand for re-election and win additional two-year terms. These proposals are greatly preferable to adding permanent members but they have a serious disadvantage – they add many new members to the Council, making it extremely unwieldy.
Enlargement (in Whatever Form) Would Make the Council Burdensome and Ineffective
The Council is not a legislature, but rather a body that combines quasi-legislative authority in security emergencies with power for rapid executive action. With fifteen members, the Council is already past the outer limit of the size-efficiency range for an executive body with such big responsibilities. Even in private consultations, ambassadors frequently read lengthy official statements, prepared in capitals. A single round of such “discussion” can take half a day, preventing swift and decisive action. Negotiations are laborious among such a large number of members, and consultations with capitals, time zone differences, and multiple languages add to the burden. Ten or eleven new members would create a hopelessly awkward and inefficient institution.
Enlargement would lead to an All-powerful Executive Committee
In a famous essay, historian C. Northcote Parkinson used the history of the British cabinet to demonstrate what happens when a body goes past the most efficient size. Ample academic literature makes the same point – when committees get too large, they give rise to executive committees that do all the serious work, or else (worse still) the original body becomes dysfunctional and irrelevant. At the UN, an enlarged ECOSOC stands as a clear example of how greater size detracts from effectiveness. An enlarged Security Council would only reinforce the power of the P-5 (or P-11) as an executive committee, leaving the elected members (however numerous) more powerless and frustrated than ever.
Ambassadors with Council Experience Say Enlargement Would Be a Mistake
In recent years, many ambassadors of elected Council members – from all regions and state types – have spoken privately against enlargement, based on their own two years of real Council experience. Such views have been especially striking since they have often run counter to the pro-expansion positions of their national governments. Ambassador Peter van Walsum, who represented the Netherlands on the Council in 1999-2000, was one of these many practical dissenters. In 2005, from retirement, he wrote a forceful commentary in the Financial Times, concluding that “No one can seriously believe a council with 24 members can be more effective than one with 15, but it has become politically incorrect to point this out”.
Enlargement Is Not an Effective Route to Better Representation
Member states often argue that added members will make the Council “more representative”. But this is only marginally the case. Adding members adds more states, with their own state interests. Such members only weakly “represent” their region or state-type (poor, island, small, etc.), since there is no system of accountability. Instead, they act primarily on the basis of their own national interest. If they are large regional hegemons, they may seek to increase their hegemony at the expense of other regional states. If they are states involved in civil conflict, they may seek to block Council remedial action (Rwanda notoriously sat on the Council during the genocide) with negative effects on many neighbors. And if they are small and weak states, they may be exposed to great power pressure, bowing often to threats or blandishments and voting according to the interests of the mighty, not the interests of regional neighbors and friends.
Suggestions for Representation through More Effective Regionalism
Informal regional arrangements provide the best route to representation on the Council, as a prelude to regional seats. Regional unions of states like the European Union or the African Union will lead in this direction. While the EU has developed furthest, other regional bodies may evolve quickly, including a proposed body in Latin America. In the meantime, regional groups can pool resources and policy coordination and take steps to make regionally-elected states far more responsive to regionally-agreed policy. Each region could have its own secretariat in New York that could strengthen its own elected members and promote common policies with no Charter revision required. This would help small and poor nations to enlarge their capacity and enhance their ability to participate in the Council on a strong footing. A small state with only three or four diplomats on its Council team suffers from a huge disadvantage compared to members with teams of 20 or more. That same small state, supported by a number of experts from a permanent regional secretariat, would magnify its capacity. The regional secretariat would also give elected members access to institutional memory of the Council, narrowing the huge advantage now held by the P-5. To further strengthen regional ties, member delegations could also include diplomats from other regional countries. Brazil and Argentina have already exchanged diplomats during recent Council terms. Other states could act likewise. But real progress can only take place if stronger regional states give up their hopes for permanent seats. When these states realize that progress depends on common action with their neighbors, they can promote common interests and not theirs alone.
Towards Restriction of the Veto and Other Special Privileges
Reform of the Council must seek to restrict (and eventually eliminate) the veto, but this obviously cannot be done in the near future through Charter revision, which itself is subject to the veto process. Instead, states must mobilize pressure and persuasion to get P-5 members to limit their veto use, especially the threatened or “hidden veto” that casts a shadow over the Council’s proceedings at all times. If Germany, Japan, Brazil, India and the other aspirant states abandon their quest for permanency, they can provide major diplomatic muscle in this veto-restriction effort along with support for a regional approach to membership. The veto should be immediately ended in such cases as decisions on new UN memberships, election of the Secretary General and other cases rarely touching on core P-5 interests. Similarly, the 185 non-permanent states should make joint efforts to limit other special P-5 privileges, such as claims on high Secretariat posts and World Court seats. Eventually, in the more distant future, permanency itself should be negotiated into well-deserved oblivion and the oligarchy eliminated once and for all.
Improvement in the Council’s Working Methods
The spotlight on membership, permanency and Charter change has obscured the promising reform possibilities in the Council’s procedures and working methods – changes that can occur with far less difficulty. In the past fifteen years, the Council has slowly been reforming itself, largely under pressure from the ten elected members. The Council today holds more effective public meetings, consults better with non-Council actors such as Troop Contributing Countries, goes on missions to crisis areas, publishes its program of work and targets its sanctions better, to name just a few significant improvements. But much remains to be done. The Council must close the chapter on the famous “provisional” rules of procedure and adopt standing rules at long last. It must hold more open meetings. It must consider ways to draw support from the Secretariat and to have a more institutionalized presidency. It must devolve more work to subsidiary arrangements such as the team coordinators, lessening the burden of discussion imposed on the ambassadors. It must strengthen the work of its expert panels and bring them together into a united information-sharing process. And it must work harder to seek information from the real world and to consult with NGOs and policy actors of all kinds.
Council Reform Is a Work in Progress, Not a Quick Fix
Council reform is a process for the long haul, not a quick fix. It must be based on ideas for more democratic global future, not outworn concepts from the past like permanency and great power oligarchies. In the midst of the present diplomatic furor, it is time to take a more calm and long-term view. What kind of world do we want and how can we patiently find the way there?
- Han Sung-Joo, ed., “The New International System”.
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali, “An Agenda for Peace”; Kofi Annan, “Ditchley Foundation Lecture XXXV”, Ditchley House, UK, June 26, 1998.
- I. William Zartman, ed., Collapsed States.
- Hans Morgenthau, “Politics Among Nations”.
- Talcott Parsons and Edward Shils, “Toward a General Theory of Action”, p. 180.
- Susan Strange, “Cave! Hic Dragones”, p. 345.
- Hedley Bull, “The Anarchical Society”, p. 3; Stanley Hoffmann, “Conditions of World Order”, p. 2.
- In Aristide Zolberg, “Creating Political Order”, p. 42.
- Augustine, “The Political Writings”, p. 144.
- Aristotle, Politics; Robert Goodin, “Structures of Political Order”; Oran Young, “Regime Dynamics”, pp. 98-101; Lewin, Lippitt, and White, “Patterns of Aggressive Behavior in Experimentally Created «Social Climates»”; Robert Dahl, “Hierarchy, Democracy, and Bargaining in Politics and Economics”.
- Juan Linz, “Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes”.
- Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule”.
- Friedrich von Hayek, “The Fatal Conceit”, pp. 307-309.
- Aristotle, Politics; Raymond Aron, “The Anarchical Order of Power”, pp. 44-45.
- Immanuel Kant, “Perpetual Peace”.
- Max Weber, “Politics as a Vocation”, p. 78.
- Aristotle, “Politics”, Book V A II §3, p. 242.
- R. H. Tawney, Equality; Robert Dahl, “The Concept of Power”; J. W. Thibaud and H. H. Kelley, “The Social Psychology of Groups”.
- Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Transition from Authoritarian Rule”; Valerie Bunce, “Do New Leaders Make a Difference?”
- Richard Smoke, War
- Gunnar Sjöstedt, “Asymmetry in Multilateral Negotiation Between North and South at UNCED”.
- Roger Kanet and Edward Kolodziej, eds., “The Cold War as Cooperation”.
- I. William Zartman, ed., “Governance as Conflict Management”.
- Gene Lyons and Michael Mastanduno, eds., Beyond Westphalia; Francis Deng et al., Sovereignty as Responsibility; Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, eds., The Responsibility to Protect.
- Maryann Cusimano, Beyond Sovereignty; Harold Saunders, A Public Peace Process; Wolfgang Reinicke, Global Public Policy.
- Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Peter Evans, and Theda Skocpol, eds., Bringing The State Back In.
- Pasquale Pasquino, “Political Theory, Order, and Threat”, p. 19.
- Michael Schatzberg, “Big Man in Africa”.
- Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations”; Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule”.
- Jacques Barzun, “Bagehot or the Human Comedy”, p. 204; Jean Orieux, “Talleyrand ou le Sphinx Incompris”, pp. 249, 295, 396.
- Hans J. Morgenthau, “Politics Among Nations”; Stephen M. Walt, “The Origins of Alliances”; Henry Kissinger, “False Dreams of a New World Order”, Washington Post, February 26, 1991.
- Stephen M. Walt, “The Origins of Alliances”.
- Oran Young, “International Cooperation”; I. William Zartman, “International Multilateral Negotiations”; Fen Osler Hampson, “Multilateral Negotiations”; Andreas Hasenclever, Peter Mayer, and Volker Rittberger, “Theories of International Regimes”; Bertram I. Spector and I. William Zartman, eds., “Getting It Done”; John Odell, “Negotiating the World Economy”.
- William Riker, “The Theory of Political Coalitions”.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, “De la démocratie en Amérique; John Stuart Mill, On Liberty”.
- Seymour Martin Lipset, “Political Man”; Lani Guinier, “The Tyranny of the Majority”.
- Seymour Martin Lipset, “Some Requisites of Democracy”.
- Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan, “Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation”; Richard Rose, William Mischler, and Christian Haerpfer, “Democracy and Its Alternatives”; Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter, “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule”; I. William Zartman, ed., “Tunisia”.
- Krishna Kumar, ed., “Post-Conflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance”, p. 54.
- T. S. Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The Quest for Order in World Politics”.
- Arend Lijphart, “Democracy in Plural Societies”; Donald Horowitz, “Democratic South Africa?”; Donald Horowitz, “Ethnic Groups in Conflict”.
- L. S. Shapley, “A Value for N-Person Games”; J. F. Banzhaf, “Weighted Voting Doesn’t Work”; Steven J. Brams and P. J. Affuso, “Power and Size: A New Paradox”.
- P. H. Gulliver, “Disputes and Negotiations”, p. 21.
- Thomas Schelling, “Strategy of Conflict”; Fred Charles Ikle, How “Nations Negotiate”; Richard Walton and Robert McKersie, “A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations”.
- Fred Charles Ikle, “How Nations Negotiate”.
- M. Smith, “The European Union and a Changing Europe”; G. Casper and M. M. Taylor, “Negotiated Democracy”.
- Richard Walton and Robert McKersie, “A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations”; Robert Axelrod, “Conflict of Interest; Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation”; I. William Zartman, ed., “The Negotiation Process”; Lynn Wagner, “Problem-Solving and Bargaining in International Negotiation”; P. Terrence Hopmann, “The Negotiation Process and the Resolution of International Conflicts”; John Odell, “Negotiating the World Economy”.
- Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, “Power and Interdependence”; Oran Young, “Regime Dynamics”; Anselm Strauss, “Negotiations”; Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule”.
- Krishna Kumar, “Post-Conflict Elections”.
- Thomas Schelling, “Arms and Influence”, chap. 4; Friedrich von Hayek, “Rules and Order”; Morton Kaplan, “New Approaches to International Relations”.
- Hans Morgenthau, “Politics Among Nations”; Kenneth Waltz, “Man, the State, and War”.
- Kenneth N. Waltz, “Theory of International Politics”, pp. 88–93; Mancur Olson, “The Logic of Collective Action”; Robert Bates, “Toward a Political Economy of Development”.
- Donald Green and Ian Shapiro, “The Pathologies of Rational Choice”.
- Regarding negotiation, see the well-known story about the blind wise men who were asked to describe the elephant. Each returned with a simile based on the part of the animal he grabbed (an elephant is a rope, said the tail-grabber; an elephant is a tree, said the leg-holder; an elephant is a hose, said the trunk man; etc), whereupon the king (who could see) said that the elephant is all these things.
- David Easton, “A Systems Analysis of Political Life”, and David E. Apter, “Choice and the Politics of Allocation”, pp. 19–21.
- Charles Doran, “Systems in Crisis”; Torbjørn Knutsen, “A History of International Relations Theory”; Robert Gilpin, “War and Change in World Politics”, and Samuel P. Huntington, “The Third Wave”; Robert Dahl, “Polyarchy”;
- Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, “Transitions from Authoritarian Rule”; G. Casper and M. M. Taylor, “Negotiated Democracy”; I. William Zartman, ed., “Collapsed States”
- Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, “Modernization”; Samuel P. Huntington, “Political Order in Changing Societies”; I. William Zartman, “Collapsed States”.
- John J. Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War”; Daniel Deudney and John Ikenberry, “Soviet Reform and the End of the Cold War”; Alexander Dallin, “Causes of Collapse of the USSR”; John Lewis Gaddis, “International Relations Theory and the End of the Cold War”; Friederich Kratochwil, “The Embarrassment of Changes”; Richard Ned Lebow, “The Long Peace, the End of the Cold War, and the Failure of Realism”; Edward Kolodziej, “The Pursuit of Order, Welfare and Legitimacy”.
- Paul Pillar, “Negotiating Peace”; I. William Zartman, “Elusive Peace”; Jacob Bercovitch, I. William Zartman, and Victor Kremenyuk, eds., “Handbook of Conflict Resolution”.
- Adam Przeworski, “States and Markets”; I. William Zartman, ed., “Governance as Conflict Management”.
- Hedley Bull, “The Anarchical Society”, and John Rawls, “A Theory of Justice”; Brian Barry, “Theories of Justice”; Johnm Elster, “Local Justice”. See also I. William Zartman et al., “Negotiation as a Search for Justice”.
- Ronald Rogowski, “Rational Legitimacy”.
مجلس أمن قديم في نظام عالمي جديد
بخلاف الكثير من مفاهيم العلوم السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية، إن مفهوم النظام ومعناه لا يقسمان هذا الفرع من العلوم إلى مناقشات إيضاحية عظيمة.
في المعنى الواسع لكلمة «نظام» نتبيَّن أنها تعني التفاهم، أو على الأقل التفاهم السياسي، أما «السياسة» فهي البحث عن النظام. بناءً عليه، وبشكل متلازم، حين ينهار نظام عالمي قائم كما حصل مع النظام الثنائي القطب خلال الحرب الباردة وبخاصة عند تفككه من دون وجود نظام وريث موافق عليه، تنهمك العناصر المكونة للمجتمع الدولي في البحث عن نظام عالمي جديد. وبما أنها لا تبحث عن نظام كيفما اتفق بل عن نظام على مستوى عالمي يصبح هذا البحث هادفاً حتى إن لم يكن واضحاً وحاداً حتى إن لم يكن مميتاً، ويقتضي استخدام القوة حتى إن لم يكن العنف. هذا البحث بحد ذاته يمكن اعتباره جزءًا من النظام العالمي الجديد وخصائصه.
هناك عدد من أنواع إجراءات اتخاذ القرارات التي تحدد كيفية تثبيت النظام في أحد المجتمعات.
وتتقيَّد هذه الأنواع بعلم النماذج الأساسي القائم على نوع إجراءات اتخاذ القرارات المحدودة في صيغتها التجريدية على الرغم من كونها مختلطة في الواقع ومن هذه الأنواع نذكر المجموعات الآتية:
الإجراءات الجازمة التي تتخذها قيادة هيئة هرمية سواء كانت تنفيذية أو قضائية أو إمبراطورية.
1. الإجراءات التحالفية التي تتخذها مجموعات فرعية ذات أحجام متفاوتة حيث تقرر المجموعة الأكبر أو الأقوى عن كل البقية والأشكال الأكثر شيوعاًُ في هذا المجال هي المجموعات الديمقراطية أو التحالفية وهذا يعتمد على ما اذا كانت الوحدة المكونة دولة أو شخصاً.
2. المجموعات التفاوضية التي تتألف من مجموعات متساوية تعمل معتمدة مبدأ الإجماع أو حق الفيتو مثلما هي الحال في المنظمات الدولية المشابهة للأمم المتحدة وبالتحديد مجلس الأمن والمؤسسات الوطنية.
3. المجموعات المتأصلة أو الذاتية التي تديرها يد خفية لوكالة خارجية أو قوة داخلية مثل السوق.
كما يحصل عادةً، حين تتواجه المفاهيم الواضحة مع العالم الحقيقي نرى أن النظام العالمي الحالي يتكوَّن من القليل من كل المجموعات المذكورة سابقاً.
وغالباً ما أحدث علم نماذج آخر تعادلات في العلاقة بين الوحدات المكونة بالاعتماد على ما إذا كانت متساوية أو غير متساوية وعلى ما إذا كانت العلاقة بالتالي متماثلة أو غير متماثلة. علاوةً على ذلك نرى أن لا وجود للمساواة في الواقع في العلاقات الدولية أو على الأرجح في أي علاقات سياسية على الرغم من أن هذا الواقع هو عامةً في نزاع مع الرواية الخيالية للتساوي بين الدول.
وعلى الرغم من أن اهتمام هذا المقال يكمن في المجال الدولي فإن النظام العالمي يتألف من وحدات حكومية تكون أوامرها وثيقة الصلة بشكل الأوامر على صعيد العالم.
ولكنه قد يكون من المطمئن أو على الأقل من المشجع أن الديمقراطيات لا تتقاتل في ما بينها كما يجزم معظم العلماء، إلا ان الأنظمة الأخرى تتقاتل في ما بينها كما تقاتلها الأنظمة الديمقراطية أيضاً.