International law and global governance : a normative systemic approach

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2007
Full metadata record
Files in This Item:
Filename Description Size
01Front.pdf624.75 kB
Adobe PDF
02Whole.pdf23.44 MB
Adobe PDF
NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- The increasing pace of globalisation and resultant global interdependence has renewed debate about the role that various stakeholders should have in global governance, and about how relationships between states and global issues should be regulated, if at all. There are calls for reform of the United Nations, as well as proposals for localisation, regionalism, world federalism, and global citizenism. It is appropriate at this time to ask whether the current system of global governance and the present means by which international law is created are sufficient for the future. This thesis is, therefore, about international law and world order. It looks at the conceptual bases upon which international law operates; the historical circumstances that led to the modem understanding of international law's ambit; and the consequential development of a positivist system of international law operating on a non-hierarchical, consensual basis. It takes into account significant developments in the twentieth century that have dramatically shifted the demands placed on international law, and asks the question of whether the prevailing system can hold the weight of these developments. It assesses proposed models of global governance, and analyses each school of thought according to their likelihood to achieve the proper objectives of a coherent and workable world order. It uses this analysis to make proposals as to the institutional modifications that should occur in the future, and accompanying paradigmatic shifts that are necessary. The thesis is that our current system of international law and global governance is inadequate in the twenty-first century, change is inevitable, and that change will entail a shift from internationalism to supranationalism. The reason the prevailing horizontal interstate system of global governance, whereby international law is created predominantly through consent, is insufficient for the future of global governance is that states act to serve their individual foreign policy objectives. Global objectives, which are in everyone's interest, can better be achieved through the creation of world law, as distinct from international law, and through a strong global governance structure to support its creation, implementation and enforcement. The thesis examines contemporary pressures on the current international system as based on the traditional paradigm of sovereignty and concludes that change is inevitable. Governance is traditionally an organic concept and there is room for the evolution of a new approach to global governance that better adapts to the changes that have occurred over the past century. It is anticipated that states will support a shift to a new order of global governance when the contemporary pressures upon their sovereignty reach the point where their de facto sovereignty has been eroded to such an extent that virtually all that remains is the shell of de jure sovereignty. States are more likely to realise, as the states of the European Union already have, that the way to safeguard sovereignty is through pooling it and exercising it collectively. States will no longer see collective action as a threat to their sovereignty, as a 'loss' or an 'expenditure', but will instead see it as a worthwhile investment. It is proposed that the European Union, and particularly the principles of subsidiarity and comitology, can serve as an appropriate model for world government, adapted along federal lines with limited, enumerated heads of power in areas of global significance being ceded to the global level and residual powers remaining with the states. Change can be implemented in stages, beginning with UN reform in the immediate term, incorporation of European Union principles in the medium term, and incorporation of a federal structure in the long term. Paradigmatic shifts are necessary to support these movements. It is necessary to temper the positivist obsession in international law with an overarching framework of global norms. These global norms can provide the basis for determination of the validity and enforceability of positivist international law, and can provide the necessary legal vehicle for achieving the proper objectives of a workable world order, rather than merely achieving the foreign policy objectives of the most powerful states.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: