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Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

21. The United Nations  

Devon E. A. Curtis and Paul Taylor

This chapter examines the development of the United Nations and the changes and challenges that it has faced since it was founded in 1945. It opens with three framing questions: Does the UN succeed in reconciling traditions of great power politics and traditions of universalism? Why has the UN become more involved in matters within states and what are the limits to this involvement? What are the UN's biggest successes and challenges in its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict and to promote sustainable development? The chapter proceeds by providing a brief history of the UN and its principal organs. It also considers the UN's role in the maintenance of international peace and security, and how the UN addresses issues relating to economic and social development. Two case studies are presented: the first is about the role of the UN in dealing with conflict in Syria and the second is about UN peacekeeping in the Congo.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

15. Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimes  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on democracies, democratization, and authoritarian regimes. It first considers the two main approaches to analysing the global rise of democracy over the last thirty years: first, long-term trends of modernization, and more specifically economic development, which create preconditions for democracy and opportunities for democratic entrepreneurs; and second, the sequences of more short-term events and actions of key actors at moments of national crisis that have precipitated a democratic transition—also known as ‘transitology’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the different types of democracy and the strategies used to measure democracy. It also reviews the more recent literature on authoritarian systems and why they persist. Finally, it examines the challenges that confront democracy in the face of authoritarian revival.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

21. The United Nations  

Devon E. A. Curtis and Paul Taylor

This chapter examines the development of the United Nations and the changes and challenges that it has faced since it was founded in 1945. It opens with three framing questions: Does the UN succeed in reconciling traditions of great power politics and traditions of universalism? Why has the UN become more involved in matters within states and what are the limits to this involvement? What are the UN's biggest successes and challenges in its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict and to promote sustainable development? The chapter proceeds by providing a brief history of the UN and its principal organs. It also considers the UN's role in the maintenance of international peace and security, and how the UN addresses issues relating to economic and social development. Two case studies are presented: the first is about UN peacekeeping in the Congo and the second is about the 2003 intervention in Iraq.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

15. Democracies, Democratization, and Authoritarian Regimes  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on democracies, democratization, and authoritarian regimes. It first considers the two main approaches to analysing the global rise of democracy over the last thirty years: first, long-term trends of modernization, and more specifically economic development, that create preconditions for democracy and opportunities for democratic entrepreneurs; and second, the sequences of more short-term events and actions of key actors at moments of national crisis that have precipitated a democratic transition — also known as ‘transitology’. The chapter proceeds by discussing the different types of democracy and the strategies used to measure democracy. It also reviews the more recent literature on authoritarian systems and why they persist. Finally, it examines the challenges that confront democracy in the face of authoritarian revival.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

27. Global trade and global finance  

Matthew Watson

This chapter explores important issues in the conduct of global trade and global finance. It asks why the global economy is so good at allowing some people to own untold riches while many others have too little money to meet basic subsistence needs, and whether the world would be better or worse off without the institutions of global economic governance. After discussing the globalization of trade and finance, the chapter considers the regulation of global trade and global finance. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with the ongoing trade war between the US and China and the other with the effect of tax havens on overseas aid budgets. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that addresses the question of how far the institutions of global economic governance currently go to work specifically to the benefit of developing countries.