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Summer Reading for World Federalists

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A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21st Century

Andreas Bummel and Jo Leinen

Democracy Without Borders, 2018

A World Parliament: Governance and Democracy in the 21st Century begins by examining the philosophical foundations of cosmopolitanism and a world parliament through history, including a detailed account of the campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. It then puts the concept in the context of current global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, disarmament, and the protection of human rights. And finally, there is a discussion of possible ways towards the realization of a world parliament and the transition to a democratic world order.

Just Security in an Undergoverned World

Edited by William Durch, Joris Larik, and Richard Ponzio

Oxford University Press, 2018

Just Security in an Undergoverned World begins with a forward co-written by Madeleine Albright and Ibrahim Gambari before offering in-depth development of a broad range of proposals that were initially part of the research done for the report of Albright and Gambari’s Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. Areas covered include conflict and fragility, climate and people, the hyperconnected global economy, and reforming the United Nations. Contributors to the book include academics and those from non-governmental organizations.

The Evolution of UN Sanctions

Enrico Carisch, Loraine Rickard-Martin, and Shawna Meister

Springer, 2017

This thorough book discusses, as the title says, the evolution of sanctions from their initial, essentially economic use to their current purpose as a way to address conflict and human rights abuses. As well as considering the historical use of sanctions within the UN system and a thorough summary of all thirty UN sanctions regimes from the past fifty years, the book also examines the potential sanctions have for dealing with new and future threats, as well as analyzing the system of UN sanctions in general to identify areas that could be improved upon.

Would the World be Better Without the United Nations?

Tom Weiss

Polity Press, 2018

In order to appreciate the impact that the United Nations has had on international peace and security, human rights and humanitarian action, and sustainable development, in Would the World be Better Without the United Nations?

Tom Weiss considers a counterfactual world without a United Nations. Describing a world that is more violent, repressive, impoverished, and polluted than our own, Weiss concludes that, despite the shortcomings and failures that he discusses, the United Nations has makes the argument that the current worldwide trend in electoral politics towards inward-looking, populist movements makes multilateralism a better, not worse, choice today.

Transforming Multilateral Diplomacy: The Inside Story of the Sustainable Development Goals

Macharia Kamau, Pamela S. Chasek, and David O’Connor

Routledge, 2018

This book provides, as it says in the title, an insider view of the negotiations that resulted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the point of view those who were intimately involved in the process, including Macharia Kamau, who was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN at the time, as well as co-chair of the General Assembly Working Group on the SDGs. In addition to a thorough overview of the development of the SDGs, the book puts this in the context of multilateralism in general and the legacy of the Open Working Group on SDGs.

War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

Ronan Farrow

WW Norton, 2018

Investigative journalist and former advisor in the United States State Department Ronan Farrow has written a meticulously detailed book that, through interviews with key players at all levels and his own experience, traces the militarization of American foreign policy and the decline of traditional diplomacy.

Farrow places a critical lens on the positions taken by consecutive U.S. governments, both Republican and Democrat and, in so doing, places the recent dismantling of the State Department under Donald Trump’s administration in the context of a decades long shift from strict diplomacy to an increasing reliance on military solutions and advice.

The access that Farrow was afforded, including interviews with all living former Secretaries of State, including the very recently departed Rex Tillerson, and his own experience working with Richard Holbrooke, provide a solid basis for the book’s assessment of US foreign policy.

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