Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 2, Numbers 3 and 4, Fall-Winter 2003


Global Governance, Humanitarian Intervention and the U.N.
By Sener Aktürk



There is a growing tendency among policy-makers and social scientists alike to attribute certain features of the global political economic transformations that are taking place in our contemporary world to the emergence of global governance. In this paper, I will argue that global governance refers to the unregulated command mechanisms of a political economy that is based on balance of power and premises of peace, security, organized activity (voluntary and formal, domestic and transnational organizations) and prosperity that flows from an everincreasing conduct of business and trade. Then, focusing on 'humanitarian intervention' and the 'United Nations' as my issue areas, I will demonstrate and argue that humanitarian interventions and the undemocratic nature of United Nations serve the purposes of legitimizing, perpetuating and furthering global governance by preserving the balance of power and order in the system so that organized activity, business and trade can flourish. Finally, I will argue that the emergence of global governance, as it is presented in the relevant readings, is profoundly anti-democratic in its structure, and Euro-centric in its theoretical and political economic assumptions, and thus, it is undesirable from a moral, normative and/or democratic point of view. Finally, I will conclude by asserting that a global governance mechanism that is morally and normatively compelling can only be achieved through the voluntary adoption of democracy with its subjects-as-individuals by the majority of the mankind.

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