Global Governance and its Critics in the ‘Liberal Moment’, 1945-75
The 1940s witnessed perhaps the most ambitious attempts to transform international politics into wholly new forms - the Nazi 'New Order' sought to eradicate the European state-system as it had emerged during the course of the previous century, the Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere had no less ambitious objectives in Asia, while the Allies toyed not merely with possible institutions to realise the principles of the Atlantic Charter, but gave serious contemplation to federal union. In 1945, however, during what Robert Latham has called the 'liberal moment', international politics returned to a plural order of sovereign states, overlaid with new institutions of global governance in the past century - the United Nations, the IMF, NATO, and later the European Economic Community. This paper examines both the underlying justifications for the shape and character of these institutions, generated largely by American and British intellectuals and policy-makers, as well as the arguments of their critics and opponents. It aims to interpret the various traditions of thought that helped to recreate a plural order of sovereign states, combined with strengthened institutions of conference diplomacy and functional agencies, rather than generate a new order.
WPSA Annual Meeting 2009 Conference Proceedings