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Understanding world order, continuity and change – security, development and justice in the global era

Conference contribution
Authors Hans Abrahamsson
Published in Presented at the China–Nordic Peace Research Conference, Beijing 7-9 April 2008
Publication year 2008
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Language en
Keywords world order, globalization, peace research
Subject categories Peace and development research


The main argument of this working paper in progress is that the traditional Westphalian security logic still is dominant among most political decision-makers. However, the present discursive rivalry between a Westphalian and a post-Westphalian security logic opens up the political room of manoeuvre for transformation of world order structures in order to achieve a more adequate balance between the question of security, development and justice. The working paper explores tentatively, and from a Western and Nordic perspective, some of the circumstances under which such an opportunity to transform world order economic structures could be seized and the possible impact this might have as regards the future world order leadership. The envisaged convergence of human security, human development and human rights is anticipated to increase the need of a more inclusive process of globalization. Increased multipolarity will strengthen the demand for a legitimate multilateral or plurilateral leadership basing its global involvement upon the rule of international law. Simultaneously, post-September 11 developments are believed to have reduced both the US capacity and its willingness to meet such requirements. Furthermore, the multiplicity of actors and diversity of interests might make it difficult for anyone to take upon international leadership. Thus it could not be excluded that Global Politics will be characterized by a more durable disorder and permanent “organic crisis” not capable to deal with global challenges with the required strength.

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