Multilateralism and Transnational Security: A Synthesis of Win-Win Solutions

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Multilateralism and Transnational Security: A Synthesis of Win-Win Solutions

In the globalised world of today, states face increasingly complex and transnational threats, which include, among other things, terrorism, international migration, weapons proliferation, poverty and human rights violations. This book maintains that the most effective responses to such threats are multilateral ones – an argument that is supported by an exploration of the various multilateral organisations and instruments of security.
The theoretical foundations for this book are set out in The Five Dimensions of Global Security: Proposal for a Multi-sum Security Principle (2007), and SYMBIOTIC REALISM: A Theory of International Relations in an Instant and an Interdependent World (2007). The former proposes five dimensions of global security (human, environmental, national, transnational and transcultural) that depend on good governance and justice.
The latter proposes a new theory of international relations that addresses the instant and interdependent nature of our globalised world and enlarges the number of actors beyond the traditional state and non-state actors. Our instant and interdependent world makes multilateral responses better suited to current global security threats, and means that only multilateral responses can provide the authority, legitimacy, resources and burden-sharing that are necessary to tackle these threats – because they advance a more just and sustainable world order.



“A comprehensive survey of the current wealth of multilateral action in a world marked by increasing interdependence between states. A must-read for anyone with an interest in international cooperation, this book is a strong plea in favour of multilateralism based on its past and ongoing record of bringing peace and prosperity to the world.

Cédric Dupont, Professor of Political Science, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.


1. Introduction

2. The Multilateral Instruments of Security

2.1. The United Nations System
2.2. The Main Regional Organisations: Their Roles and Achievements in Promoting Security

3. The Multilateral Treaties and Regimes

3.1. The Non–proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
3.2. Landmines and Small Arms and Light Weapons
3.3. International Terrorism
3.4. Transnational Organised Crime
3.5. Human Security

4. Multilateralism vs. Unilateralism

4.1. Multilateral Responses
4.2. Unilateral Responses that are Multinational and Arguably Legitimate
4.3. Multilateral Responses with a Unilateral Outcome

5. National Interests vs. General Interests

5.1. Climate Change and Global Warming
5.2. The International Criminal Court
5.3. The Arab–Israeli Conflict
5.4. International Migration
5.5. Development and Aid

6. How to Make Multilateralism Effective

6.1. The Strengths of Multilateral Institutions
6.2. The Weaknesses of Multilateral Institutions
6.3. Reforming the UN System

7. Conclusions