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there were . . . peoples with a long heritage of civilization™.32
In other respects as well, the UN system re¬‚ected a much less discrimi-
natory attitude to non-European peoples, and a much broader and more
¬‚exible concept of civilization. Membership was opened to all ˜peace-
loving states™, not least because the Nazis “ the new barbarians “ were
guilty not just of genocide, but also of the crime of aggressive militarism.
Precisely what characteristics would de¬ne a ˜peace-loving™ state were
never made exactly clear, but one notable state to be excluded, even
though it had remained neutral during the war, was Francoist Spain:
Fascist authoritarianism was seen as incompatible with being ˜peace-
loving™, but not much else was. Of course, several states were still ex-
cluded from the United Nations, at least until 1955, but that had a lot
more to do with Cold War rivalry than with the imposition of a new stan-
dard of civilization. Since 1955, the UN system has become even more
committed to the principle of non-discrimination both with respect to
its membership and in the conduct of international affairs more gener-
ally, through landmark statements such as the 1960 Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and the
1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly
Relations and Co-operation among States.
Although the construction and subsequent development of the UN
system re¬‚ected a much more inclusive attitude towards non-European
peoples, in keeping with the recognition that they were no less civilized
than their European counterparts, the idea that the new global order
should pursue the traditional goal of promoting civilization had by no
means been rejected. The Preamble to the Charter makes explicit that
among its various goals the United Nations is dedicated to af¬rming
˜fundamental human rights™, re¬‚ecting ˜the dignity and worth of the
32 Ibid., vol. X, pp. 497“8. For a good overview, see Leland M. Goodrich, Edvard Hambro
and Anne Patricia Simons, Charter of the United Nations: Commentary and Documents,
3rd edn (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), pp. 450“1. Although, for a
somewhat contrary point, see Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations,
Volume 1: Trygve Lie, 1946“1953 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), p. 32.
140 Beyond the anarchical society

human person™ and ˜the equal rights of men and women™, and that it
is also committed to the promotion of ˜social progress and better stan-
dards of life™. In Article 55, these goals are stated at greater length:
the UN shall promote: (a) higher standards of living, full employment, and con-
ditions of economic and social progress and development; (b) solutions of inter-
national economic, social, health and related problems; and international cultural
and educational cooperation; and (c) universal respect for, and observance of,
human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race,
sex, language, or religion.
Although the word ˜civilization™ is not used here, and indeed could not
be used because of its lingering objectionability to peoples who for so
long had laboured under the stigma of being treated as uncivilized, that
is more or less how a nineteenth-century international lawyer or colonial
administrator would have understood the concept. Consider, for exam-
ple, John Stuart Mill™s de¬nition of the concept, which I quoted earlier
but deserves to be recalled at this point:
a country rich in the fruits of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, we call
civilized . . . Wherever . . . we ¬nd human beings acting together for common pur-
poses in large bodies, and enjoying the pleasures of social intercourse, we term
them civilized . . . We . . . call a people civilized, where the arrangements of society,
for protecting the persons and property of its members, are suf¬ciently perfect to
maintain peace among them.33
The ¬t is by no means perfect, but I submit that there is enough of a
resemblance to make it very clear what was the source of these purposes
of the UN system.
But these variations on the old idea of civilization were not the only
goals that the United Nations set for itself. The Preamble also asserted
the equality of ˜nations large and small™, and the UN™s members com-
mitted themselves ˜to practice tolerance and live together in peace with
one another as good neighbours™. As one would expect, this goal was
encapsulated in the founding principles of the organization as laid out
in Article 2: that the organization is based on the principle of sovereign
equality; and that, apart from the limitation on the use of force and the
need to maintain international peace and security, ˜Nothing contained
in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene
in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any
state.™ It is obvious where this part of the Charter comes from: with the
exception of the restriction on the use of force, these assertions are clearly
the legacy of the ˜Westphalian system™ and the society of states. In the UN
33 John Stuart Mill, ˜Civilization™, in Mill, Collected Works, Volume 18: Essays on Politics and
Society (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 120.
Order in contemporary world politics 141

system, in other words, states are all understood to be sovereign, in the
sense that they are all equal and possess an inviolable right to territorial
integrity and political independence. As a report by a Special Committee
of the General Assembly later argued, this logically implies that every state
˜has the right freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic
and cultural systems™.34 That old adage of orthodox international soci-
ety theorists, never mind that it is more Augbsurgian than Westphalian,
springs to mind: cuius regio, eius religio.
It should be obvious how serious a dilemma this duality of purpose
presents. On the one hand, the United Nations as an organization and all
its members are dedicated to promoting what can only be called civiliza-
tion: economic and social progress, collaborative social intercourse, and
respect for the fundamental human rights of individuals. On the other,
the United Nations as an organization and all its members are dedicated
to promoting what can only be called toleration: respect for all states™
equal and independent territorial sovereignty, and for their right to de-
velop whatever kind of political, social, economic and cultural system they
choose. As I have argued in this book, these have long been the central
purposes that have de¬ned order in modern world politics. In that sense,
it is unremarkable to ¬nd both of them being articulated as fundamen-
tal purposes and principles of the United Nations. What is remarkable,
however, is to ¬nd them being asserted together, at the same time, and
for all peoples. That represents a novel departure for international order,
and while all would probably agree (I certainly would) that the abandon-
ment of racial discrimination as a principle of international law has been
a progressive development, the legacy is a pattern of order in the world
today that is global, but divided.
Over the last ¬fty years, these divisions have expressed themselves in
a number of speci¬c questions about the content of international law
and the structure of international organization, both at the global and re-
gional levels. The United Nations™ ability to interpret, and in some cases
substantially change, what is ˜essentially within™ the domestic jurisdic-
tion of any individual state means, for example, that ˜a new content has
been given to the obligations and legal competence of states through the
medium of the Charter™.35 In effect, the United Nations has acquired a
competence to rede¬ne what state sovereignty actually means in many
different circumstances, and this represents a signi¬cant compromise of

34 Goodrich et al., Charter of the United Nations, p. 40.
35 Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990),
p. 295, and for a very good analysis of how this happened, see Rosalyn Higgins, The
Development of International Law through the Political Organs of the United Nations (London:
Oxford University Press, 1963).
142 Beyond the anarchical society

the decentralized, voluntaristic pattern of order that is supposed to ob-
tain in the society of states. This process of the partial centralization of
authority, and the emergence of ˜community-oriented™ procedures at the
expense of ˜sovereignty-oriented™ ones,36 has gone even further in some
regional organizations, most notably in the European Union. The grow-
ing supranational authority of European bodies, especially when coupled
with the articulation of notions of ˜subsidiarity™ and ˜European citizen-
ship™ in the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties, has led some scholars
to suggest that ˜Europe may well become a model of post-Westphalian
political organization™ where political authority is de-territorialized, and
where sovereignty is ˜pooled™ or ˜divided™ among states in an effort to
maximize the presumed economic bene¬ts of integration.37
Another controversial feature of the UN Charter is its assertion that
all human beings have certain fundamental and inalienable rights. Again,
this breaches what Hedley Bull described as the ˜conspiracy of silence™
about individuals™ rights that is one consequence of the acceptance of
toleration and mutual independence in the European society of states.38
According to one international lawyer, W. Michael Reisman, this repre-
sents a fundamental challenge to the compact of coexistence embodied
in the principle of respect for state sovereignty: ˜By shifting the fulcrum of
the system from the protection of sovereigns to the protection of people,
[the principle of human rights] works qualitative changes in virtually ev-
ery other component™ of the international legal order.39 While few would
go so far as to claim that individuals now have an equivalent kind of in-
ternational personality to that traditionally possessed by states, the idea
that all people have certain rights as human beings weakens the ability of
36 These phrases are taken from Richard Falk, ˜The Interplay of Westphalia and Charter
Conceptions of International Legal Order™, in Falk, Friedrich Kratochwil and Saul
Mendlovitz (eds.), International Law: A Contemporary Perspective (London: Westview
Press, 1985), p. 123.
37 For discussions of the international political and legal dimensions of this development,
see David Held, Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan
Governance (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995), and Andrew Linklater, The Transformation
of Political Community (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998), especially ch. 6. For an analysis of
the continuing tensions between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism within the
EU framework, see Helen Wallace, ˜Deepening and Widening: Problems of Legitimacy
for the EC™, in Soledad Garcia (ed.), European Identity and the Search for Legitimacy
(London: Pinter, 1993). Interestingly, the division of sovereignty in the EU has been
quite different from the normal practice that characterized imperial systems, in the sense
that European states have largely retained their external sovereignty, while losing much of
their internal sovereignty; precisely the reverse of the situation in which the Indian Native
States were placed.
38 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (London:
Macmillan, 1977), p. 83.
39 W. Michael Reisman, ˜Sovereignty and Human Rights in Contemporary International
Law™, American Journal of International Law, 84 (1990), 872.
Order in contemporary world politics 143

states to claim that their sovereignty provides them with an inviolable ju-
risdiction over their domestic territory and population. As John Vincent
puts it, ˜there is now an area of domestic conduct in regard to human
rights . . . that is under the scrutiny of international law. This does not is-
sue a general licence for intervention . . . But it does expose the internal
regimes of all the members of international society to the legitimate ap-
praisal of their peers.™40 Another international lawyer, Thomas Franck, in-
terprets these changes in terms of a general ˜democratic entitlement™ that
has been established in international law, re¬‚ecting the extreme degree to
which internationally de¬ned legal standards now qualify the supposed
right of all states to a territorially sovereign domestic jurisdiction within
which they can develop whatever kind of political and legal arrangements
they choose.41

Conclusion
What I have tried to do in this chapter is to show how we have moved
from a world that was clearly divided between two distinct patterns of
international order, each with its own core purpose and separated by a
discriminatory distinction between civilized and uncivilized nations, to a
world that possess a single, global structure of political and legal order but
is riven by contradictions because we have not resolved the fundamental
modern dichotomy about what order in world politics is for. The crucial
development that took place between 1914 and 1945 was the erosion of
the thesis that different peoples should conduct their international rela-
tions in different ways, depending on the level of civilization they had
achieved. As orthodox scholars have long argued, the basic Westphalian
principle of toleration, with its associated norm that the world is com-
posed of states who should all respect each other™s territorial sovereignty,
has effectively been globalized. To this already well-established claim, I
have sought to add a new point: that, at the same time, the basic principle
of extra-European order that civilization should be promoted, with its as-
sociated norm of the division of sovereignty across territorial boundaries,
has also been globalized. The contemporary pattern of international order
embodies two distinct normative principles: that the sovereign indepen-
dence of states should be respected, so as to encourage the toleration
40 Vincent, Human Rights, p. 152.
41 Gregory Fox, ˜The Right to Political Participation in International Law™, Yale Journal
of International Law, 17 (1992), 539“607, and Thomas Franck, ˜The Emerging Right
to Democratic Governance™, American Journal of International Law, 86 (1992), 46“91.
For a more cautious treatment, which makes the continuing importance of toleration
and reciprocal recognition to this equation much clearer, see Brad Roth, Governmental
Illegitimacy in International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999).
144 Beyond the anarchical society

of political and cultural differences; and that their sovereignty should be
divided, so as to facilitate the promotion of civilization.
It is obvious that, unless we are prepared to accept either perennial
instability or some kind of de facto discrimination operating below the
of¬cial, formal level of international law, we need to ¬nd some way of
reconciling the two contrasting goals of order in world politics today. We
need to ¬nd, in other words, some way of articulating the idea of a civi-
lized world that is fully cognisant of the need to tolerate different peoples
and cultures. That is certainly the avowed aim of a host of political theo-
rists, international legal experts, diplomats and statesmen today, and has
indeed been a feature of the liberal vision of civilization ever since doubts
about late nineteenth-century discriminatory theories began to be deeply
felt. This project can, in essence, be seen as an attempt to save the mod-
ern way of organizing international politics from its own contradictions,
without resort to the discriminatory and inegalitarian arguments which
kept it a¬‚oat for a century or more. We may have little choice but to take
on that project, since we may well have no readily available alternative
schemes of international political and legal order available at present, but
we should at least not undertake it with the illusion that we are doing
anything but trying to patch up an order that emerged in an ad hoc way
as Europeans struggled to gain control of the lands and commerce of the
non-European world, and has since developed along lines that most of
us, I am sure, would ¬nd highly objectionable.
Conclusion




The main critical point I have made in this book is that orthodox theories
of order in modern world politics are inadequate because their analysis
of the development of modern international order is too narrowly con-
centrated on the European states-system. While they have given some
excellent descriptions of how that system operates, and especially how its
members have collectively formed an international society based on the
principle of respect for each other™s sovereign equality and independence,
orthodox theorists have almost completely ignored the way in which
Europeans behaved beyond Europe, and therefore have failed to provide
a proper analysis of the principles that have structured their relations with
non-European peoples since the seventeenth century. Moreover, because
they adopted a mistaken interpretation of the ˜Grotian tradition™ of inter-
national legal thought, and because their theory of the society of states
is now popularly believed to represent that tradition, one of the principal
examples of modern legal thinking about the characteristic features of
international order beyond Europe has been cast into obscurity, making
it much harder to recover a proper sense of what was going on in that
part of the world.
The bulk of my argument has been devoted to trying to give an ac-
count of the pattern of international political and legal order that devel-
oped in the world beyond Europe, my goal being to supplement, rather
than replace, the orthodox theory of order in the European states-system.
I began with an analysis of Hugo Grotius™s theory of the law of nations,
and showed that Grotius developed two core propositions about the
rights that public authorities and private individuals possess in the law
of nations: ¬rst, that the sovereign prerogatives held by public authori-
ties are divisible from one another; and secondly, that private individuals

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