The story of global cooperation between nations and peoples is a tale of dreamers goading us to find common cause in remedying humanity’s worst problems.  But international institutions have also provided a tool for the powers that be to advance their own interests and stamp their imprint on the world.  Mark Mazower’s Governing the World tells the epic story of that inevitable and irresolvable tension—the unstable and often surprising alchemy between ideas and power.

From the beginning, the willingness of national leaders to cooperate has been spurred by crisis: the book opens in 1815, amid the rubble of the Napoleonic Empire, as the Concert of Europe was assembled with an avowed mission to prevent any single power from dominating the continent and to stamp out revolutionary agitation before it could lead to war. But if the Concert was a response to Napoleon, internationalism was a response to the Concert, and as courts and monarchs disintegrated they were replaced by revolutionaries and bureaucrats.

19th century internationalists included bomb-throwing anarchists and the secret policemen who fought them, Marxist revolutionaries and respectable free marketeers. But they all embraced nationalism, the age’s most powerful transformative political creed, and assumed that nationalism and internationalism would go hand in hand. The wars of the twentieth century saw the birth of institutions that enshrined many of those ideals in durable structures of authority, most notably the League of Nations in World War I and the United Nations after World War II. 

Throughout this history, we see that international institutions are only as strong as the great powers of the moment allow them to be. The League was intended to prop up the British empire. With Washington taking over world leadership from Whitehall, the United Nations became a useful extension of American power.  But as Mazower shows us, from the late 1960s on, America lost control over the dialogue and the rise of the independent Third World saw a marked shift away from the United Nations and toward more pliable tools such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  From the 1990s to 2007, Governing the World centers on a new regime of global coordination built upon economic rule-making by central bankers and finance ministers, a regime in which the interests of citizens and workers are trumped by the iron logic of markets.

Now, the era of Western dominance of international life is fast coming to an end and a new multi-centered global balance of forces is emerging. We are living in a time of extreme confusion about the purpose and durability of our international institutions.  History is not prophecy, but Mark Mazower shows us why the current dialectic between ideals and power politics in the international arena is just another stage in an epic two-hundred-year story.
Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Subject to violent shifts of borders, rulers and belief systems at the hands of the world's great empires--from the Byzantine to the Habsburg and Ottoman--the Balkans are often called Europe's tinderbox and a seething cauldron of ethnic and religious resentments.
        
Much has been made of the Balkans' deeply rooted enmities. The recent destruction of the former Yugoslavia was widely ascribed to millennial hatreds frozen by the Cold War and unleashed with the fall of communism. In this brilliant account, acclaimed historian Mark Mazower argues that such a view is a dangerously unbalanced fantasy. A landmark reassessment, The Balkans rescues the region's history from the various ideological camps that have held it hostage for their own ends, not least the need to justify nonintervention. The heart of the book deals with events from the emergence of the
nation-state onward. With searing eloquence, Mazower demonstrates that of all the gifts bequeathed to the region by modernity, the most dubious has been the ideological weapon of romantic nationalism that has been used again and again by the power hungry as an acid to dissolve the bonds of centuries of peaceful coexistence. The Balkans is a magnificent depiction of a vitally important region, its history and its prospects.
No Enchanted Palace traces the origins and early development of the United Nations, one of the most influential yet perhaps least understood organizations active in the world today. Acclaimed historian Mark Mazower forces us to set aside the popular myth that the UN miraculously rose from the ashes of World War II as the guardian of a new and peaceful global order, offering instead a strikingly original interpretation of the UN's ideological roots, early history, and changing role in world affairs.

Mazower brings the founding of the UN brilliantly to life. He shows how the UN's creators envisioned a world organization that would protect the interests of empire, yet how this imperial vision was decisively reshaped by the postwar reaffirmation of national sovereignty and the unanticipated rise of India and other former colonial powers. This is a story told through the clash of personalities, such as South African statesman Jan Smuts, who saw in the UN a means to protect the old imperial and racial order; Raphael Lemkin and Joseph Schechtman, Jewish intellectuals at odds over how the UN should combat genocide and other atrocities; and Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, who helped transform the UN from an instrument of empire into a forum for ending it.


A much-needed historical reappraisal of the early development of this vital world institution, No Enchanted Palace reveals how the UN outgrew its origins and has exhibited an extraordinary flexibility that has enabled it to endure to the present day.

This volume makes available some of the most exciting research currently underway into Greek society after Liberation. Together, its essays map a new social history of Greece in the 1940s and 1950s, a period in which the country grappled--bloodily--with foreign occupation and intense civil conflict.

Extending innovative historical approaches to Greece, the contributors explore how war and civil war affected the family, the law, and the state. They examine how people led their lives, as communities and individuals, at a time of political polarization in a country on the front line of the Cold War's division of Europe. And they advance the ongoing reassessment of what happened in postwar Europe by including regional and village histories and by examining long-running issues of nationalism and ethnicity. Previously neglected subjects--from children and women in the resistance and in prisons to the state use of pageantry--yield fresh insights.


By focusing on episodes such as the problems of Jewish survivors in Salonika, memories of the Bulgarian occupation of northern Greece, and the controversial arrest of a war criminal, these scholars begin to answer persistent questions about war and its repercussions. How do people respond to repression? How deep are ethnic divisions? Which forms of power emerge under a weakened state? When forced to choose, will parents sacrifice family or ideology? How do ordinary people surmount wartime grievances to live together?


In addition to the editor, the contributors are Eleni Haidia, Procopis Papastratis, Polymeris Voglis, Mando Dalianis, Tassoula Vervenioti, Riki van Boeschoten, John Sakkas, Lee Sarafis, Stathis N. Kalyvas, Anastasia Karakasidou, Bea Lefkowicz, Xanthippi Kotzageorgi-Zymari, Tassos Hadjianastassiou, and Susanne-Sophia Spiliotis.

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