Global Covenant: The Social Democratic Alternative to the Washington Consensus / Edition 1

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In this pathbreaking book, one of the world’s leading analysts of globalization and global governance confronts the failures of international politics in the aftermath of 9/11 and the war against Iraq. He argues that there were and are alternatives to the way the western coalitions responded to the profound challenges of mass terrorism and political violence - alternatives which can better address the roots of these challenges and deliver political and social justice.

In order to grasp this alternative, the changing structure of the global order has to be understood. To this end, the book is divided into three sections: economics, politics and law. In each section contemporary trends are analyzed, problems confronted, and a series of detailed policies set out. The aim of the book is to focus on feasible and effective policy choices which could lead to a progressive transformation of global affairs. Against the ideologues who are wholly in favour or hostile to globalization, this book shows how globalization can be better regulated to deliver human development, equitable economic change, democracy and justice.

This is an original book that will appeal to all those - students, policy makers, and the general reader - who confront questions about globalization and global governance. It is an optimistic text that holds that progressive political change is still within our grasp.

To read the transcript of an interview with the author on the Global Covenant in democratiya, please click here .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you want to understand globalisation you need to read Global Covenant."
The Guardian

"A healthy antidote to the realist international relations literature, Held persuasively argues for a global covenant based on universal values and driven by a social-democratic coalition ... an outstanding addition to Held's Democracy and the Global Order."
M. E. Carranza, Choice

"I found this an immensely encouraging book; it does not just analyse the problems of the global order but offers a credible solution for a cooperative multilateral world."
Robin Cook MP, Former UK Foreign Secretary

"A rare combination of sociological imagination, penetrating analysis and solid empirical evidence, yielding a politically constructive view: a brilliant integration of research carried out over a decade."
Jürgen Habermas, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University

'David Held has written a remarkable book, addressing the major problems political decision-makers grapple with in the post 9/11 world. It should be read by all those who care about the future of our globe.'
Javier Solana, Secretary General, Council of the European Union

Foreign Affairs
In this social democratic manifesto for the reform of global governance, Held, a British political scientist who has written perceptively on democracy and globalization, explores the challenge of preserving and extending social democratic values-the rule of law, democratic accountability, social justice, community solidarity-in a rapidly globalizing world. His thesis is that social democracy is increasingly difficult to sustain within national borders, as the forces of globalization expand the geopolitical space necessary for the provision of public goods, regulatory control, and political coordination. Accordingly, he offers a sketch of how social democracy might operate on a world scale. The result is a framework of proposed principles, policies, and institutions that together chart a middle course between the current dominant visions-namely, the neoliberal "Washington consensus" and radical antiglobalism. Economic governance would entail a commitment to the liberalization of markets but also ambitiously expand regulatory mechanisms to promote social welfare, environmental protection, and distributive justice. A global social-democratic polity would also establish new global and regional democratic bodies anchored in international law. How one gets from today's world of U.S. primacy to "social democratic multilateralism" is unclear. Held's optimism seems to be based on the assumed efficacy of enlightened self-interest, cosmopolitanism, and moral aspiration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745633534
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/26/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

David Held is Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
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Table of Contents

Figures, Boxes and Tables.






1. Economic Globalization.

2. Globalization, Stratification and Inequality.

3. The Regulation of Economic Globalization: A New Policy Mix.


4. Political Globalization.

5. Globalization and the Challenges to Governance.

6. The Reform of Global Governance.


7. Sovereignty and the Changing Structure of International Law.

8. Liberal International Sovereignty: Achievements and Limitations.

9. The Development of Global Rules.


10. Toward a Global Covenant: Global Social Democracy.

Appendix: The Basis of a New Internationalism: Cosmopolitan Principles.



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