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ISBN 92-808-1053-7
2001, 580 pages
Paper; US$39.95/5,200 yen
The Legitimacy of International Organizations
Edited byJean-Marc Coicaud and Veijo Heiskanen

Ten years ago, at the end of the Cold War, international organizations and in particular the United Nations seemed finally capable of redeeming the promise invested in them forty-five years earlier in the aftermath of World War II, when most of the international organizations important today were created. Now, only a decade later, the situation seems drastically different. While a number of international organizations have been able to retain or even reinforce their roles and new organizations have been created, the United Nations in particular, and many other organizations with a "progressive" rather than market-oriented or technical agenda, seem out of vogue.

The end of the Cold War is only one in a series of events that have radically modified the operational environment of international organizations since their establishment. These changes, many of which have lately been discussed under the term "globalization," include: decolonization; growing awareness of the global nature of many economic, environmental, and public health problems; multiplication of non-governmental organizations; globalization of mass media and the market; rapid developments in the field of biotechnology; and the emergence of new information technologies, particularly the Internet. These developments suggest that the time has come to take a fresh look at the philosophy of international organization.

The Legitimacy of International Organizations presents the results of an interdisciplinary research project of the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University. The authors are prominent experts in the fields of social and political philosophy, law, political science, economics, and environmental studies.

Veijo Heiskanen is Director of the Institute of International Economic Law, University of Helsinki, Finland. He served as Deputy Chief, Legal Services Branch, United Nations Compensation Commission, Geneva from 1994-98, and as Legal Adviser, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, The Hague, from 1990-94.

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