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6.1 The Nature of World Order


6.1.1 The meaning of World Order

World Order refers to the creation of global relationships and maintenance of world peace.
o World order governs the relationships between nation-states and other global
participants, including transnational corporations, regional federations, and nongovernmental organisations.

6.1.2 The need for World Order

One of the major changes in world order over the last 60 years is growth of international
law.
o E.g. treaties and conventions which prevent international anarchy
If there were no relations between countries, then each nation-state would stand alone,
meaning global issues (such as conflicts and global warming) could not be adequately
addressed.
World order and nation-state interaction are also the backbone of economic interdependence and globalisation.
Without world order, each nation-state would be self-reliant and much of the progress of
the last five centuries would not have occurred.

6.1.3 The development of World Order over time

The current world order is founded upon two principles that on their face seem
contradictory:
o State Sovereignty: The states legal power and authority over everything that
occurs within it.
o Multilateralism: cooperation between multiple states for mutual benefits or to deal
with common threats.
Often requires a surrender of some degree of sovereignty.
State sovereignty had origins in the Treaty of Westphalia (the collective name of 2
treaties), which ended the Thirty Years War within the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty
Years War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, and marked the beginning of the modern
concept of states and diplomacy.
o As European imperialism, trade and ideas spread throughout the world, so did the
Westphalian concept of state.
o As European empires dissolved, colonies became states following the European
model.
o All international treaties and agreements are based on states exercising their
sovereignty and working together.
o Today, states are like the building blocks of the international system, and
international treaties and agreements are like the cement that binds them
together.
Multilateral cooperation occurs when states act together for a common purpose. This
arose from the common goal of survival.
o The first modern instance of multilateral cooperation was the Treaty of Westphalia,
ending a period of religious war in Europe in which millions of people died.
o During the 19th century, there was an increased awareness by political leaders that
with advancing technology in warfare and weaponry, there was potential for a war
of disastrous proportions.
o After many violent revolutions and wars, the Peace conference was held in The
Hague (Netherlands) in 1899 and 1907.
These acted as a kind of global legislature that drew up conventions to limit
warfare by various means. E.g. banning certain types of weapons.

The First World War and the League of Nations: The trend towards multilateral
cooperation that had developed in the early 20th century, vanished upon the outbreak of
war in 1914.
o The world became divided into two camps, with nations choosing to side with the
allies, led by Britain, or the Central Powers, led by Germany.
o The war continued until in 1917, President Woodrow of the United States
committed the U.S to join on the sides of the allies on condition that a League of
Nations be established at the end of the war.
At the 1919 Peace Conference, this was agreed to. The main aim of the
League of Nations was to prevent war, international peace would be
guaranteed by the principle of collective security (agreement based on the
principles of a group of states not to attack one another)
o The creation of the League of Nations was a substantial act of multilateral
cooperation. It achieved some notable successes in the 1920s; however, it was
doomed to fail due to serious flaws in its legal framework.
This evident when the League had no answers to Japans annexation of
Manchuria in 1931, Italys invasion of Abyssinia in 1935, and finally Nazi
Germanys annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia by March 1939. The
final straw was Germanys invasion of Poland in September 1939.
The failure of the League of Nations left doubts, but after first dark years of
WW2, a blueprint for a world organisation was placed on the agenda.
Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt drafted the Atlantic Charter which
was the first step in the creation of a new world organisation.
o The Atlantic Charter was a visionary attempt to avoid the mistakes of the past, to
place on the record early in WW2 exactly what the Allies were fighting for, and to
bring about the just and lasting peace that had eluded the peacemakers at
Versailles.
The name United Nations was first used on the 1st of January, 1942,
when 26 nations pledged their governments to fight for a common purpose
against the Axis power.
Detailed planning for the new world organisation proceeded throughout the
following three years of war.
The UN Charter was signed in San Francisco by 50 nations in 1945, and
became a legal entity.

6.1.4 The Nature of Conflict