In this report, Matthew C. Waxman argues that an international legal regime that puts decisions about international intervention solely in the hands of the UN Security Council risks undermining the threat or use of intervention when it may be most potent in stopping mass atrocities. The features of the UN Charter that help resolve security crises peacefully make it difficult to generate the rapid action needed to deter or roll them back. Waxman urges the United States and other Security Council members to take steps to improve the responsiveness of the existing Security Council. He insists that they signal the willingness, if the UN fails to act in future mass atrocity crises, to take the necessary action to address them.
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As the future of the UN Security Council continues to be the focus of fierce debate, this book will be essential reading for students of international relations, international organizations and international security studies alike.
The Future of NATO argues that NATO members must recognize two features of the new security environment.First, threats are global, not local, and often are nonmilitary in nature; and second, NATO cannot manage many of these new threats on its own and must seek other partners, such as the European Union, to be effective. In addition, James M. Goldgeier maintains the alliance must come to a consensus on how to manage its relationship with an increasingly assertive Russia.
Americans have long been protective of the country's sovereignty—beginning when George Washington retired as president with the admonition for his successors to avoid "permanent" alliances with foreign powers. Ever since, the nation has faced periodic, often heated, debates about how to maintain that sovereignty, and whether and when it's appropriate to cede some of it in the form of treaties and the alliances about which Washington warned.
As the recent election made clear, sovereignty is also one of the most frequently invoked, polemical, and misunderstood concepts in politics—particularly American politics. The concept wields symbolic power, implying something sacred and inalienable: the right of the people to control their fate without subordination to outside authorities. Given its emotional pull, however, the concept is easily highjacked by political opportunists. By playing the sovereignty card, they can curtail more reasoned debates over the merits of proposed international commitments by portraying supporters of global treaties or organizations as enemies of motherhood and apple pie.
Such polemics distract Americans from what is really at stake in the sovereignty debate: namely, the ability of the United States to shape its destiny in a global age. The United States cannot successfully manage globalization, much less insulate itself from cross-border threats, on its own. As global integration deepens and cross-border challenges grow, the nation’s fate is increasingly tied to that of other countries, whose cooperation will be needed to exploit the shared opportunities and mitigate the common risks of interdependence.
Sovereignty Reimagined is intended to help today's policymakers think more clearly about what is actually at stake in the sovereignty debate and to provide some criteria for determining when it is appropriate to make bargains over sovereignty—and how to make them.