The Idea of World Government: From ancient times to the twenty-first century

1st Edition

James A. Yunker

Routledge
Published February 4, 2011
Reference - 128 Pages
ISBN 9780415781633 - CAT# Y111296
Series: Global Institutions

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Summary

The notion of a single political organization encompassing the whole of humanity—a world state—has intrigued mankind since earliest recorded history. This book provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of the history of world government, and questions whether political globalization, in the form of a federal world government, could and should complement the ongoing processes of economic and cultural globalization.

While the potential peacekeeping advantage of such a state is obvious, the consensus judgment has always been against it, because it could lead to totalitarian tyranny. Yunker examines whether this judgment is still correct, considering that nuclear weapons of unimaginable destructiveness now exist, capable of destroying human civilization as we know it. Summarizing the lessons of history, the author suggests that while the conventional world federalist concept of an unlimited world government is still impractical in today’s world, there may be a role for a limited federal world government that would go well beyond the existing United Nations, thereby providing a stronger institutional basis for the evolutionary development of genuinely effective global governance.

This book is an important resource for all students and scholars of global governance, international relations and international organizations.

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