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Books - February 15, 1992

The United Nations in a Turbulent World

James N. Rosenau (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1992)

 

 

In a turbulent world of restless publics, faltering economies, widening cleavages, and vast international transformations, where does the United nations fit?  What have been the consequences for the UN of the profound transformations the world has undergone since its creation in 1945?  Can it meet the challenges posed by an increasingly turbulent world?  And can the UN respond to the challenges in creative ways that enable it to serve as an agent as well as a product of global change?

The answers to these questions are not simple, but they are clear-cut.  Among other things the analysis leads to the unqualified conclusion that the UN is likely to benefit from the growing complexity of world affairs, from widespread challenges to established national and subnational authorities, and from the global shift away from traditional criteria of legitimacy and toward assessments based on the adequacy of leadership performances. 

- James N. Rosenau

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