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International Order and Justice

Multilateralism Under Challenge?

The principles, values and manifestations of multilateralism, including the United Nations, are under sustained scrutiny and their performance and effectiveness together with their decision making procedures are questioned frequently.

This project begins with the proposition that the post-Second World War systems of multilateralism have become out of step with contemporary challenges and demands in a number of important issue areas.

It considers which challenges and changes can be absorbed within the existing mechanisms and systems of multilateralism and which cannot. On the basis of this, the project seeks to highlight what issues might have to be confronted in order to re-envision multilateral arrangements in a number of policy areas.

More prominently, this study addresses the question of whether the norms and forms of multilateralism remain feasible and whether multilateralism can offer a viable basis for international order when power is preeminently concentrated in a unipolar system. It explores the performance and future of multilateral approaches and institutions with reference to major global challenges such as international security, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, economic justice, human rights and humanitarian assistance.


Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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