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A New World Order Hardcover – March 8, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Breaking new ground in international relations theory, Slaughter urges readers to lose their "conceptual blind spot" and see how the world really works. Scholars, pundits and policymakers, she writes, have traditionally seen nations as "unitary"—that is, as single entities that "articulate and pursue a single national interest." In fact, she says, we would do better to focus on government networks, both horizontal and vertical. Horizontal networks link counterpart national officials across borders, such as police investigators or financial regulators. Vertical networks are relationships between a nation's officials and some supranational organization to which they have ceded authority, such as the European Court of Justice. Networks, she says, are the solution to the "globalization paradox": The world needs global governance to combat problems that jump borders, like crime and environmental degradation, and yet most people fear—rightly, Slaughter implies—the idea of a centralized, all-powerful world government. The book both describes the here and now and plots a course for the future: Strengthening existing networks and developing new ones "could create a genuine global rule of law without centralized global institutions." The author, who is the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton as well as president of the American Society of International Law, is steeped in these issues and offers genuinely original thinking. Written in dense academic language, this book will not pick up many casual readers, but it will likely attain instant textbook status and generate much discussion about foreign policy and whether, as Slaughter believes, the U.S. should welcome such networks in a globalized world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Finalist for the 2004 Lionel Gelber Prize

One of Times Literary Supplement's International Books of the Year for 2004

Honorable Mention for the 2004 Award Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Government and Political Science, Association of American Publishers

"[An] important [book]. By showing how today's world--of what she calls 'disaggregated states'--actually works, Slaughter cuts the ground away from nationalists and internationalists alike. This, she says, is how it is, for America and everyone else. She also, quite clearly, believes that this how it should be . . . because nothing else will work. . . . I have absolutely no doubt that Slaughter is on to something."--Tony Judt, New York Review of Books

"Breaking new ground in international relations theory, Slaughter . . . offers genuinely original thinking. . . . [A New World Order] generates much discussion about foreign policy."--Publishers Weekly

"[A] major new statement about modern global governance. . . . Particularly revealing is Slaughter's remarkable account of the cooperation between national judicial authorities and international and regional courts."--Foreign Affairs

"[A] groundbreaking book, a striking combination of both pragmatism and vision. . . . Slaughter represents the cutting intellectual edge of this decade's new way of thinking about global governance."--Kenneth Anderson, Harvard Law Review

"This excellent, thought-provoking analysis covers a widespread but little studied shift in the way the world works."--Financial Times/getAbstract

"The new world order of network governance will be a better place, especially if the reforms proposed by Slaughter are adopted and networks open up, enabling broader participation and increased accountability."--Andras Sajo, International Journal of Constitutional Law


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691116989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691116983
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This excellent, thought-provoking analysis covers a widespread but little studied shift in the way the world works. The advance of international communications, technology, economics and finance networks has had an unmistakable effect on business and industry. The ways states function has also changed - shifting the operation of the world order. Author Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, is on expert ground. She asserts that networks of financiers, regulators, judges and even legislators can solve problems that would be intractable if left only to traditional states and familiar international organizations. She provides many examples of such networks, notes the criticism against them and suggests norms to govern their conduct. Her book is not light reading. Readers need some familiarity with international organizations and institutions (sometimes cited by unexplained acronyms), but we highly recommend this book to sophisticated observers of international policy.
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Format: Hardcover
What is new about the world in the 21st century? For Thomas L. Friedman its information networks that make the world flat for business and communication. Anne-Marie Slaughter makes the observation that governance too is being transformed by the telecommunication revolution. Because the barriers between us are being broken down it is possible for like minded people to share ideas and conclusions around the world.

The book looks at Regulatory Agencies, Jurisprudence and finally Legislative Processes and observes transnational influences and accommodations. Slaughter notes that borrowing of laws and principles from one society to another is not new, but it has become much more common. She shows that a number of precedents in bioethics, copyright law and commercial rights are now drawing on extranational deliberations and decisions in order add clarity and come to decisions more rapidly. If a copyright case in Paris is similar to one in Washington a judge may cite the case to draw similar conclusions.

Differences in definitions in such things as environmental legislation, labeling of goods and the establishing of standards are more easily handled between similar agencies rather than through top/down negotiation. The network of associations also extends to NGOs allowing relief, health care (ie: co-ordination during the SARS outbreak in 2003 or Bird Flu in 2006 - neither of which are covered in the book however the discussion in the book help illuminate both these situations) or standards organizations to co-operate with each other and to learn from each other's methods.

Overall Prof. Slaughter considers this a good thing that we are now learning to learn from each other on a planetary scale.
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As I write this review, the High Court of Australia has just overturned a federal government policy designed to reduce illegal immigration on the grounds that the actions of a third party (Malaysia) would fail to meet Australia's obligations to a UN treaty - a development that gave me cause to reconsider the arguments of Slaughter's 'A New World Order'.

In 'A New World Order', Anne-Marie Slaughter (who in other contexts has been both a thoughtful critic of and useful contributor to US policy, and an articulate advocate of something approaching a 'Responsibility to Protect' that transcends state sovereignty) argues that not only is traditional state sovereignty being eroded by the prevalence of formal multinational institutions and informal networks, but that these developments are overwhelmingly positive.

The first part of her argument - that states are becoming 'disaggregated' and subject to a range of formal and informal external influences unlike the unitary 'billiard balls' of traditional Realist IR theory - is clear and convincing, with well-developed arguments and supporting examples that illustrate the reality of this phenomenon. While she illustrates a number of positive effects of these developments (which are in my view more unambiguous at the technical or transactional end of policy), I am less convinced by her enthusiasm for the increasing tendency for the judicial and legislative classes (who look like what Samuel Huntington described as the 'Davos Culture') to refer to each other and present the hoi polloi back home with a fait accompli of a binding multinational decision for their own good (European Union, anybody?) rather than go to the effort of persuading sovereign citizens and voters.
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I agree with Dr Slaughter that we're facing a transition from an old framework of political power in the international arena to a new one. But I can't help but ask myself if she had chosen the best sample of professionals to infer her conclusions. Lawmakers, justices and policy makers don't represent societies and can't be seen as classes that will determine the trends of a new order. In fact the author write about those elitists professional classes and... only from western countries with a majority of white persons. Maybe it's difficult to Dr Slaughter to deal with non western societies and non elite professionals. I understand perfectly her intellectual project - to make an effort to answer new movements that will reshape the imbalance of power in the international arena. However, it starts not with the meetings of those social and professional classes but from the demand side. A reform of the international arena is a necessity that will bring practical answers to problems that came to surface with the globalization of the economy. And with universal problems such as climate change that touch everyone in this planet. A new world order will become necessary but it will not start with people that go to a fancy hotel in the shores of the Seine river to meet their peers. On the contrary.
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