Thursday, December 27, 2012

Models of World Order

             The four models of world order are: 1) International Anarchy 2) Global Governance 3) World Hegemon and 4) World State.  The four models are also sub-categorized under the areas of supranational authority(World Hegemon; World State) and no supranational authority (International Anarchy; Global Governance), and effective norms and values (Global Governance; World State) and no norms and values (international Anarchy; World Hegemony). 

                International Anarchy relates to the academic school of international realism because sovereign nation-states remain the main actors on the international stage and continue to pursue their national interests with little or no international authority, as “the model postulates the impossibility or at least the long-term ineffectiveness of universally valid norms and rules in international politics” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 269).  I do support this model as reality, but I think that the period of history that this model represented has long past and whether it will one day return is currently only worth contemplation.

                Global Governance is an over-optimistic world model which declares the “possibility of sustained cooperation between states and non-state actors on the basis of international and transnational agreement on binding norms and rules” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 274).  The model of Global Governance views international cooperation as a horizontal structure, instead of a vertical hierarchy established by a superior nation-state power or military-economic hegemon acting as an authoritative international overseer. 

                The World Hegemon model views international organizations as instruments or institutions to establish and maintain world hegemony, whether by a single polar power or by multiple powers.  In this model, a single nation-state or an alliance of nation-states can further their individual economic-political-territorial-military interests through a hegemony that often comes disguised as an international organization using “carrots and sticks” (Kruck, Rittberger & Zangl, 270).

                Economic globalization and true democratic authority through international organizations are the cornerstones of the World State model and are considered to be essential to the process of civilization.  This model seems very far reaching and unattainable in the future because under the guise of international cooperation between nation-states, a power hierarchy will always exist to disrupt true international democracy and equality.  There will never be an inherently ‘good’ and honest democracy as power rules the international stage, the actors involved and the human element.

                When I view and contemplate which model is the most realistic model of world order, the only plausible choice is the model of world hegemony.  I clearly see a collective hegemony, each individually interested in individual nation-state interests, very precisely established in the United Nations Security Council.  I believe the victors of WWI attempted to set up a world state model on the international stage with the failed League of Nations, but after a second war and the realization that a world state model was impossible, the United Nations and the UN Security Council was established under a world hegemony model and has been successful in holding a collective hegemon for over 60 years (though I do not think it will last for another 100 years).

                I just do not see how anyone could look at the UN as anything other than a perfect example of the World Hegemony model.

Kruck, Rittberger, & Zangl, International Organization, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 268-278.


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