A New World Order by Anne Marie Slaughter

By Anne Marie Slaughter

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These are purportedly unitary actors represented by the head of state and the foreign minister, represented in other countries and international organizations by professional diplomats. These representatives, in turn, purportedly articulate and pursue a single national interest. The conception of the unitary state is a fiction, but it has been a useful fiction, allowing analysts to reduce the complexities of the international system to a relatively simple map of political, economic, and military powers interacting with one another both directly and through international organizations.

But the officials responsible should be guided by general “constitutional” norms in their relations with one another. In this context, I propose five basic principles designed to ensure an inclusive, tolerant, respectful, and decentralized world order. They include the horizontal norms of global deliberative equality, legitimate difference, and positive comity, and the vertical norms of checks and balances and subsidiarity. Global Deliberative Equality. A global order of networks among government officials and institutions cannot work without efforts to maximize the possibilities of participation both by individuals and groups at the level of national and transnational society and by nations of all kinds at the level of the state.

But this is only the beginning. Push the paradigm a few steps further and imagine the possibilities. A key identifying feature of current government networks is that they are necessarily informal. Their informality flows not only from the fluidity of networks as an organizational structure, but also, and much more importantly, from the conceptual blind spot that this book seeks to repair: separate government institutions have no independent or formally recognized status in international law and politics.

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