Mark Mazower provides us with a very readable and highly stimulating intellectual history of Western internationalism starting with the Vienna. A majestic narrative reckoning with the forces that have shaped the nature and destiny of the world’s governing institutions The story of global. Governing the World has ratings and 26 reviews. Helen said: This is a wonderfully written book by historian Mark Mazower about the idea of an interna.. .

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Oct 08, Christel Devlin marked it as to-read. They argue that the West’s promotion of democracy, human rights, and development are more than mazoser some arbitrary rules that the developed countries seek to impose on the weaker states.

The League of Nations became in many respects an attempt to prop up the waning British Empire, especially with the failure of the United States to join the organization.

In these circumstances, there was every reason to support the UN idea and few evident drawbacks. The goals of the New Deal, as Roosevelt had anticipated in his Four Freedoms speech, also provided a potential program for global action, and the war itself had made the broader struggle against hunger and poverty seem more acute.

Po-Yang Kang rated it liked it Jun 18, Want to Read Currently Reading Read. It may also be less law-abiding. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Mazower’s methodological mistake is to take at face value tactical and generally clumsy agenda setting attempts and to call wotld ideas, as if ideologies had to be published in “Foreign Affairs” to shape the goveerning we live in ideas tend to be few and sorld between: Kupchan International Affairs Book review: The Experience of Occupation, ,” ” Dark Continent: Stay in Touch Sign up.

Governing the World

He looks at internationalism from the perspectives of communism, nationalism, liberalism, and technocratic elites. His books include Salonica City of Ghosts: It’s extremely fascinating, however, and for me at least, exciting even as it opened doors to ideas and periods of history I hadn’t thought about, but which nonetheless can provide context to today’s world problems, such as, how can the US deal with North Korea, and why is the UN rather quiet on the topic, etc.

Politicians, journalists, bankers, and businessmen make their pilgrimage to the heavily guarded Alpine precinct of Davos, seeking to confirm through this triumph of corporate sponsorship that a global ruling elite exists and that they belong to it.


In its various nineteenth-century incarnations, after all, internationalism was preeminently a movement to restore sovereign power to the peoples of the world, and those who governed in their name. As an obituarist noted on his death in in a phrase that could appear in any textbook on liberalism: Sep 13, Pages.

What Mazower counts as a contribution to thinking about “governing” is defined in a very broad way ranging from actual plans for world government to international development agencies to nongovernmental standards bodies and everything in betweenbut the same time he fails to focus on certain categories or individuals or episodes that a different writer might have considered important to include.

Although it’s extremely well-written, it’s not an easy read per se – given the multitude of ideas and recounting of historical situations and controversies dating back to the 19th Century. The “Concert of Europe” these men inaugurated was an informal scheme of cooperation among the great powers, which would aim at the maintenance of an overall balance of power and try to prevent crises, wherever they arose, from spiralling out of control.

Wars stemmed from the machinations of diplomats in elegant salons, and provided the sport of military aristocracies in every country.

Mazower traces the idea and practice of international governance and cooperation from the Concert of Europe established after the fall of Napoleon to the modern experiments of the United Nations and the European Union. Counterintuitively, as it might seem today, the radical Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini thought nationalism was the answer: First, the League was a failure when it came to high politics and reasonably successful in technical and humanitarian co-operation, which is a familiar characterization of the performance of the new Geneva institutions.

It represented the end of the Concert of Europe just as the League of Nations was in turn a failure, although it had been founded on nobler principles. Oct 08, Dermot Nolan rated it it was amazing.

My fingers are crossed! Oct 06, David Sogge rated it it was amazing. Mazower’s narrative of the transience and vanity of all ‘ideas’ is ultimately the triumph of the ideology that sees the world inesorably divided between the haves the have-nost, and rightly so. International Law and the End of War. The s ushered in a sea wlrld in attitudes to international government through the emergence of a vision of globalized capitalism in the s that mazpwer the UN itself and utilized governig like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization—the final acts of Anglo- American institution-building.

Practical cosmopolitanism – the promotion of any supranational structure at all – was for a long long time a view held only by strange people indeed – visionaries and ranters and scifi writers – until it was suddenly in the works, laboured over by full secretariats with big bucks.

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Book review: “Governing the World: The history of an idea” by Mark Mazower

Today we think of the nation-state and the ideology of nationalism as the main impediment to internationalism and global gov’t, but it is important to remember that Mazzini and other liberal nationalists struggled largely against the Concert of Europe, a conservative, even regressive version of global gov’t that sought to stifle reform and revolution at the national level. The United Nations was likewise used by the United States to give an air of legitimacy to its attempts to construct a new global states system to isolate the Soviet Union.

In the current crisis, politicians have essentially acted as underwriters, essential but subordinate to the dictates of communities of financial market makers they hesitate to contradict. His decision to write about the financial crisis in the conclusion seems less sophisticated than his historic analysis, and somewhat forced. Orestis Tsapogas rated it liked it May 08, Loading comments… Trouble loading? Indispensable also for its full and subtle account of American policies sincealways with a fine touch for the hitherto neglected person or little noticed moment that illuminates worl processes.

Stalin’s anti-colonialism was predictable, as was his desire to make sure the Red Army had a free hand in mazzower Europe. The fictional utopias of writers like Jules Verne and H.

But as civil servants and technical experts began planning for the serious humanitarian and refugee crisis that would undoubtedly greet the victors after Governinf defeat, some British diplomats mocked the American “new Dealers How the Nazis Ruled Europe,etc.

Instead, international law is dealt with in separate sections of the book without a sustained attempt by the author to weave legal developments into the reconstructed web of the discursive evolution of the institutions at hand.

Looking to the gpverning, Mazower strikes an understandable note of pessimism for the future of international cooperation because while American politicians and intellectuals continue to promote self-serving ideological preferences as universal truths, the institutions they have traditionally used to promote those norms abroad are declining in influence.