The growth of international political institutions has been one of the more notable features of the twentieth-century diplomatic scene. Yet the United Nations, like the League of Nations before it, far from transforming a world of power politics into a more orderly and law abiding world society, threatens to become engulfed in a particularly tumultuous brand of power politics, what the present Secretary-General (J. Perez de Cuéllar) has called ‘the current tendency to resort to confrontation, violence and even war in pursuit of what are perceived as vital interests, claims or aspirations’.1 Both organisations were, of course, products not only of a concert of victorious powers only momentarily brought together by the needs of their wartime alliances, but also of the fleeting and often illusory hopes engendered by the ravages of war. Is it perhaps inevitable that, as power relationships shift and memories of the ‘pity of war, the pity war distilled’ (Wilfred Owen) grow dim, so confidence in the efficacy of these would-be world organisations as a basis for world order steadily wanes?
KeywordsPower Politics Security Council International Development Association Collective Security Bretton Wood System
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Notes and References
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