Global Governance, Human Rights, and International Justice

Author: William H Meyer

  • Global Governance, Human Rights, and International Justice


    Global Governance, Human Rights, and International Justice


How to Cite:

Meyer, W. H., (2005) “Global Governance, Human Rights, and International Justice”, Poroi 4(2), 91-105. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 William H. Meyer



Published on
01 Jul 2005
Peer Reviewed
Poroi, 4, 2, Meyer Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry

Global Governance, Human Rights, and International Justice

William H. Meyer

Poroi, 4, 2, July, 2005


Global governance and human rights have rarely been considered in relation to each another.  Here I explore their connections with special attention to the rhetoric of international justice.  The result is an argument that combining these two sets of perspectives can give us a better understanding of global politics.


I begin by showing what perspectives of global governance can offer those of us who have taken traditional approaches to human rights.  Then I turn things around to discuss what perspectives of human rights can add to previous treatments of global governance.  To illustrate how they can complement each other, I analyze the problematical “Pinochet precedent.”  And to project politics where global governance and human rights learn from each other, I conclude by relating global governance to two competing perspectives on international justice.

1.    The Global Governance Contribution
       to Studies of Human Rights


Mainstream treatments of human rights traditionally center on nation-states.  This is, perhaps, as it should be.  Nation-states are the primary violators of human rights.  At the same time, they bear the principal responsibilities under international law for promoting basic rights.  Research on human rights has turned recently to an added focus on at least some non-state actors that also violate rights.  This important step addresses the impact of economic actors, especially transnational corporations (TNCs), on human rights.  It has helped the attention to human rights learn from developments in global relations and advances in theories of international relations (IR).  Yet further developments in global politics and IR theories demand still greater expansion for the horizons of human rights.  The time has come for them to face global governance.


Global governance (GG) is a relatively recent paradigm for policy makers and IR theorists.  Early GG work focused on international organizations (IOs), especially the United Nations.  The end of the Cold War, combined with the centrality of the UN Security Council for legitimizing the Gulf War of 1991, led to hopes that the UN would become a stronger and more influential body.  UN supporters popularized the term “global governance” because they wanted to distinguish between it and “global government.”  Governance is a broader term.  It addresses political management on a global scale but management that stops short of the formal powers and procedures of a government.  GG is specifically not about a world state or the creation of some supranational body that would have control or sovereignty above that of the nation-state.


The Commission on Global Governance published its initial report in 1995.  One GG theorist defines global governance as the resolution of global issues “in political spaces that lack centralized authority” (Hoffman 2005).  Hence GG turns away from any ideas about making the UN into some sort of global state, federal or otherwise.  In many areas of GG, moreover, the UN has little or no part to play.  An example is the Pinochet precedent discussed below.


By extension, GG has become a catchall phrase to denote all recent developments that depart from state sovereignty and the traditional IR focus on the Westphalian system of relations among nation-states.  Therefore a GG approach requires that our attention to human rights (and similar topics) cover states and national interests (the standard stuff of Realpolitik); but it also must encompass non-state actors (TNCs, ethnic groups, non-governmental organizations, and more), global civil society (social movements, NGOs again, etc.); regional and international IOs; even key individuals.


GG deconstructs the old “levels of analysis” conundrum from international relations.  If we want to understand global problems such as human rights or environmental destruction, the chronic debate has been about what level is best for conducting the analysis.  GG argues that all levels of analysis may be relevant.  It shows, furthermore, that events and actors on these many levels now interpenetrate or even fuse with one another so thoroughly that the old IR perspectives of realism, neorealism, and neoliberal institutionalism become archaic.


A quick synopsis of the evolution of mainstream IR theory should clarify the GG case.  IR theory has always struggled to keep up with the world.  Classical IR theory, from Thucydides to Machiavelli and into the era after the Second World War, sought to understand states and national power.  When Hans Morgenthau wrote the seminal postwar text for realism (1948), the demise of realism had already begun in practice.  Critics of realism proposed several alternatives.  The most prominent replacement has been “interdependence” or “neoliberalism.”  Its advocates have argued that fallacies riddle realism and neo-realism, which focus on military power and pessimistically see anarchy or at least conflict as the permanent condition for international affairs.  Interdependence theorists stress non-military resources, international cooperation, and common interests in generating a more optimistic sense of international relations.


The changing character of global politics has virtually forced these revisions in IR theory.  Global economic crises from oil embargoes in the 1970s to financial “meltdowns” in the 1990s have shown that a single-minded stress on security or interdependence leaves huge holes in our ability to explain global events.  Efforts to fill these gaps produced “regime theory” as a successor to analyses of complex interdependence.  It recognizes international “regimes” as important actors in their own right; and it treats economic regimes, such as the one led by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as forces that are more than the sum of their parts – the member governments.  Hence this chapter in revisionist IR theory came to be called “neoliberal institutionalism.”


In its practical sense, the turn to devices of global governance is simply the next wave of occurrences that IR theory seeks to explain; but it leads accordingly to a next chapter in IR theory.  Global governance labels what has been happening; it describes recent events.  It also extends regime theory in ways that are appropriate empirically, logically, and normatively.


As a school of thought, in other words, GG is descriptive, explanatory, and prescriptive.  GG is descriptive because it claims that the devolution of national sovereignty is a demonstrable fact.  It is explanatory because it tells why the devolution is occurring.  And it is prescriptive in at least two ways.  GG recommends policies that can help states and IOs cope with rapid changes in the world.  Yet it also endorses the changes.  GG theorists believe that the world will be better when we manage global challenges such as terrorism, ecological catastrophe, and human rights through integrated, multilevel, non-violent cooperation rather than resurgent, unilateral, neo-realist wars.

2.    A Human Rights Contribution
       to Theories of Global Governance


Human rights analyses need to be informed by GG theory in order to keep current with global events and IR theory.  GG theory, in turn, needs to learn from students of human rights in order to gain a normative intelligence that IR theory sometimes lacks.


In Approaches to Global Governance Theory, Martin Hewson and Timothy J. Sinclair (1999) identify three schools of thought within GG theory.  One uses GG as a new way to target and enhance the work of international organizations, especially the UN.  The Commission on Global Governance is the best-known example.


Another treats GG as a revision of regime theory.  Regime theory dominated the 1980s as a way to understand global politics within a series of issue areas.  It has appreciated the late-twentieth-century proliferation of new regimes, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a way to “govern” trade relations.  With the number of new regimes for particular issue areas (especially environmental affairs) beginning to approach a hundred, some scholars started to talk about such overlapping webs of regimes as a “system of international governance” (p. 12).  This makes GG a logical step beyond earlier efforts at regime theory.


Hewson and Sinclair identify the IO and regime-theory variants of GG largely to reject them in favor of a third approach:  GG as a way to understand global change.  The trouble is that GG as “perspectives on global change” is little more than a residual category.  Into it, Hewson and Sinclair dump all GG theory that does not specifically address IOs or regimes then champion this “approach” as superior to the other two.  The IO and regime variants take only a page a piece to summarize; GG as a theory of “change” requires page after page on economic globalization, the location of authority, integration, fragmentation, patterns of “global life,” micro and macro levels, global civil society, Eastern European dissidents, indigenous peoples movements, cosmopolitan democracy, international political economy, transnational coalitions of social forces, hyper-liberalism, finance ministries of G-7 governments, transnational political-ideological tendencies, the Davos forum, the Trilateral Commission, globalizing elites, the new constitutionalism, epistemic elites, knowledge brokers, informational elites, even a heuristic “ontology” that highlights epistemic authorities and markets and technologies.  (Phew!)  In fact, this is just a beginning of the relevant topics, because Hewson and Sinclair group together any developments aside from IOs and issue regimes that involve change.  (And what doesn’t?)


To pursue as “good” GG theory that which analyzes change is to seek something opposite from Occam’s razor.  Hewson and Sinclair argue that it is “misplaced” to criticize their approach for including “virtually everything” (p. 17).  But what could possibly be outside or beyond their version of GG?


Actually there is something missing, not only from GG as a focus on global change, but also from the IO and regime approaches.  It is what a human-rights perspective on GG most readily supplies:  direct, intelligent attention to values.  Human rights provide a fourth, normative approach to GG, enabling it to do several things that the other three approaches cannot.


A full-fledged normative approach connected with human rights can criticize the merely functional treatment of norms by IO and regime accounts of GG.  IO and regime versions of GG implicate only narrow (and often competing) norms.  Thus the UN Charter defines that body primarily as a tool for international peace, human development, and human rights.  Are all other values to serve or be summarized by those three goals?  At least as handled by IO and regime approaches, such goals omit too much.  Likewise the standard, textbook definition of regimes first offered by Stephen Krasner (1982) relates institutional structures only to operational norms.  To approach GG through human rights is to articulate a more general and adequate account of the many dimensions of “change” that Hewson and Sinclair find crucial.


A directly normative approach can cut across the other three to provide political coverage lacked even by the kitchen-sink perspective on change.  A GG focus on rights and, by extension, norms can encompass the confusing diversity of the world’s many cultures.  Humans can be set apart from each other by so much:  religion, ideology, language, class, income, race, life chances, and more.  Yet all people have desires for human dignity, and no movement has more potential to promote human dignity than the international campaign for human rights.  The emphasis on human rights embraces lots of diversity, even debate, and these are among its advantages.  But all treatments of human rights – Western, Asian, Islamic, indigenous, no matter how disparate – advance visions of human dignity.


A focus on human rights also can turn GG away from the implicitly realist and positivist epistemologies that bedevil the other approaches.  Again the introductory rhetoric of Hewson and Sinclair makes the point.1  They say that their book’s purpose “is to understand the origins of forms of governance so as to anticipate their transformation into other forms over time, rather than the pragmatic concerns of most positivist or problem-solving work with making the existing system of global governance more effective” (1999, p. 17).  Saying that they are not “positivists” who do “problem-solving work,” the authors nevertheless finish their sentence by invoking the positivist dichotomy between fact and value or description and prescription.  Thus they claim to describe the origins and transformations of GG rather than to prescribe ways for making it more effective.


The dichotomy is false, as any normative approach to GG – especially one focused on human rights – would demonstrate by showing how specific descriptions implicate prescriptions and vice versa.  To describe the transformations of GG is to prescribe paths for these changes to take.  Hence this essay concludes with several of my own prescriptions for global governance.


To prepare for that, the need is to examine how facts and values turn into each other in specific cases of global governance when we regard it as a challenge for human rights.  Several sustained examples come immediately to mind:  political immunity, the prosecution of dictators, and the International Criminal Court; TNCs and corporate social responsibility; labor rights, environmental rights, and the WTO; anti-terrorist policy, torture, and related violations of civil rights.  As promised, though, let me target a particularly concise and accessible case.

3.    The Pinochet Precedent
       and Global Governance


General Pinochet ruled Chile as dictator (and unelected president) from 1973-1990.  During this time, the agents of his junta committed more than three thousand political murders.  After years of internal resistance and international sanctions, Pinochet succumbed to pressure and allowed a plebiscite in 1988.  It was the first democratic election since he had seized power in a bloody coup fifteen years earlier.  Much to his surprise, the people of Chile voted “no” to another five years of his rule.  Pinochet gave up the presidency in 1990, but he remained as commander-in-chief (retaining effective power through his control of the military) until 1998.


Once Pinochet relinquished presidential power, the newly elected government created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), also called the Rettig Commission.  During the 1990s, it documented the junta’s crimes.  Eventually it attributed 3,197 individual deaths to the Pinochet regime.  It also displayed evidence that hundreds (possibly thousands) of additional people remained missing after detainment by Pinochet’s security forces.


The TRC served as a substitute for prosecuting commanders and operatives of the dictatorship.  The Chilean military, still commanded by Pinochet, made clear that any effort to prosecute Pinochet would provoke another (unstoppable) coup.  Thus an indictment for Pinochet was a political impossibility from 1973 until 1998.  Few inside Chile seriously suggested that he stand trial.  Everyone knew who was really in charge of the political system, so Pinochet acted with impunity because he continued to enjoy effective immunity from prosecution.  There were no serious attempts inside of Chile to hold Pinochet responsible for his crimes.


Then something remarkable happened.  In 1998, Pinochet went to London for medical treatment.  While he was there, a Spanish judge handed down an indictment for his arrest.  Judge Baltasar Garzon ruled that Pinochet must be extradited from England to stand trial for genocide, torture, and murder.  The murder charges centered on Spanish citizens killed during the 1973 coup when Pinochet took power.  The Spanish government said that it fully expected the British government to honor the request for extradition.  As a former head of state and a “Senator for Life” in Chile, Pinochet claimed diplomatic immunity from arrest, extradition, and prosecution.


The British government took sixteen months to act.  In the meantime, it held Pinochet under “house arrest” (in a mansion next to a golf course).  Great Britain and Spain are members of the European Union and the Council of Europe.  The EU and the COE require all members to honor the jurisdictions and orders of courts in other member countries.  Eventually British legal authorities decided that they had a specific obligation to extradite Pinochet due to obligations on Britain as a party to the international Convention Against Torture.  Since the United Kingdom had ratified this in 1988, British authorities ruled that the government must extradite Pinochet for any crimes he may have committed after that year, and there were many such charges.


But Pinochet was not sent to Spain.  In the end, a British court ruled that the General was too ill (and perhaps too feeble-minded) to stand trial.  Britain returned Pinochet to Chile in March of 2000.


From a human-rights perspective on global governance, though, this is when the case gets really interesting.  Even though they failed to put Pinochet on trial in Spain, these international efforts to prosecute Pinochet in a foreign court provoked his indictment at home.  Once Pinochet returned to Chile, his homeland launched unprecedented legal action against him.  In August of 2000, the Supreme Court stripped Pinochet of his Senatorial immunity.  In 2001, the government charged Pinochet for the first time in a Chilean court with murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.  The indictment cited seventy-five murders in the “caravan of death,” just weeks after the coup in September of 1973.  Even when the kidnapping and murder charges were later dropped, the conspiracy charges for the subsequent cover-up remained.  The Pinochet impunity had ended, and the IR perspective that best helps us understand the politics of this Pinochet precedent is global governance focused on human rights.


In this case, the key GG dynamic is the synergy among state policies (in Chile, Spain, and the UK), regional institutions (the EU and the COE), and the international regimes created under the Torture and the Genocide Conventions.  Officials such as Judge Garzon and NGOs in civil society, particularly Amnesty International, also played important roles in establishing the Pinochet precedent.  None of the efforts to prosecute Pinochet inside Chile could reasonably be expected to have occurred, even after 1998, without the previous efforts by Europeans to bring him to trial elsewhere.


Neither realism, neo-liberalism, regime theory, nor any other mainstream perspective on international relations sheds much light on these events.  None of these prior theories can speak to all of the levels of action and analysis crucial for the Pinochet precedent.  Not even analysis based on international law can comprehend the formal and informal processes of politics crucial in this case within Chile, Britain, and Spain.  A concentration on change could tell us only that an important precedent might have been established, without helping to show exactly how and why.  Nor would attention to only international organizations or issue regimes be sufficient for coming to terms with the Pinochet precedent.  To understand its dynamics and implications, attention to the fact-and-value dimensions of global governance is necessary.


As James Rosenau (1997) argues, one thing all these actors have in common is that they operate as “spheres of authority.”  This is how each contributes to global governance, and it leads Rosenau to make such spheres of authority into the units of analysis for global governance.  This helps highlight the many moves, disparate kinds, and shifting locations of political authority in our politics.  The modern paradigm of political authority was national sovereignty; but it is now being de-centered, fragmented, and otherwise realigned into the more complicated patterns that we can comprehend as global governance.  These transformations range from the micro levels of individuals who are addressing global audiences, through the middle levels of institutions that are forming civil societies on a global scale, to the macro levels where many governments and conventions continue to act.  Global governance is a texture of diverse spheres of authority that interact into ways often localizing as well as globalizing.

4.  Implications of the Pinochet Precedent for Global Governance and for Human Rights


In descriptive terms, the Pinochet precedent is further evidence that global governance is upon us in fact.  This case shows the management of global issues in political spaces where there is nothing like overarching sovereignty.  GG exists.  There has been no centralized authority or comprehensive forum to deal with Pinochet’s crimes.  Nor is there a single authority that could end impunity for dictators by eliminating their effective immunity from later punishment for specific crimes.  Yet a globe with many interacting spheres of authority can contribute to a healthy recognition by officials and citizens that former dictators are liable for violating human rights.  Such spheres of authority have established the Pinochet precedent.


In prescriptive terms, the Pinochet case also indicates that much work remains.  Can there be a fair, effective, institutionalized process for bringing to justice elsewhere the dictators who enjoy immunity in their home countries from prosecution for violating human rights?  The ad hoc happenings that led to Pinochet’s indictment in Chile are not exactly reliable arrangements for the actions that can help secure official respect for human rights.


One needed institution has already been created, although it remains in its infancy.  It is the International Criminal Court (ICC).  President George W. Bush refuses to have the United States join the ICC, and his administration actively seeks to undermine it.  Yet the world needs a permanent court with jurisdiction over all such cases.  This need is even more evident after 9/11 (Hitchens 2001).  The ICC can help close transnational loopholes that let dictators like Pinochet escape justice.  It can help establish clearer global standards against mass political murder.  It can become a standing court of last resort for cases when national courts fail.  For sufficient power and legitimacy, however, the ICC needs the support of the U.S.

5.  Whither Global Governance?
      Global Governance and
      International Justice


If we could learn from developments like the Pinochet precedent that global governance exists and should be strengthened, we would still need to know where to take things from here.  The first time I presented this argument for global governance, the audience had questions about its relationship to democracy and justice.2  With good reason, people wanted to know how GG is, or should be, based on norms of participation and equity.  They wanted to know if diverse groups (in civil society) or various types of nations (especially in the developing world) can participate adequately in the processes of GG.  They wanted to know where GG is headed, and particularly if it is taking us closer to international justice.


Another presentation on that occasion helps me answer such questions by distinguishing between two approaches to justice.  GG is not, I argue, a roadmap to international justice that can tell us specifically where to go because it knows in advance what counts as just.  It does not offer abstract principles of justice in the mode of John Rawls (1971) or prior criteria like Charles Beitz (1979).  Instead, to borrow from John Nelson (2004), GG pursues justice as “just getting by.”


The basics of Rawls’ Theory of Justice are widely familiar, so a thumbnail sketch may suffice.  For Rawls, “justice as fairness” for all parties to any social contract turns into two principles that are rational for anybody to choose in the “original position,” a thought experiment that imagines away all personal particulars:  income, class, race, gender, generation, even risk proclivity.  First is the “efficiency principle” that all social values must be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution is somehow to everyone’s advantage.  Second is the “difference principle” that, when inequalities exist, they must redound to the benefit of the most marginal segments of society.  Just follow this blueprint; and whatever results is, by definition, “justice.”


Beitz applies these principles to international relations.  In the 1971 tome, Rawls assumed that political borders set the limits for the social cooperation to produce public goods.  Hence his theory of justice would hold only within nation-states.  Observing that national boundaries do not limit cooperation, Beitz argues for applying the Rawls theory to IR to create an international system of distributive justice.  Especially in economics, says Beitz, international interdependence creates wealth that would not otherwise exist.  Beitz holds, therefore, that the Rawls approach is the equitable way to distribute the results of international cooperation.  No more than Rawls does Beitz specify such an arrangement, but their (liberal) idea is that abstract criteria can provide in advance a clear and necessary conception of justice.  This is not the kind of international justice that global governance pursues.


GG has no a priori blueprint for democracy or justice.  It does not suppose that one size fits all.  What now makes one part of the world more democratic might at this time make another part less democratic.  What once made one aspect of global governance more just might now or later make it less just.  GG pursues improvements judged in the context of particular trajectories of democracy, justice, or other values.  Real, diverse people assess GG practices in light of their varied priorities and experiences; GG tries to put them into effective dialogue with each other.


This is what Nelson means by justice as just getting by (JGB).  Nelson is not interested in analytical blueprints or abstract roadmaps that take people to predetermined justice.  Rather he seeks a more practical, seat-of-the-pants approach to justice that cannot be applied apart from the real problems of justice that ordinary people face every day.  In this sense, justice is “balancing . . . .  There is nothing meticulous or scientific about it.  . . . it is rough-and-ready.  It is just good enough to get by, at least for now” (2004, p. 9).  Playing on the ordinary-language connections between “just” as “fair” or “lawful” and “just” as “merely” or “barely,” Nelson draws attention to the hard challenges of figuring out for different people what is just in any specific case.  Just getting by means that people seldom can or should apply abstract principles or original positions to assessing together what to do.  Political action requires a notion of justice as just getting by.


Nelson reviews six conceptions of justice.  The Rawls notion of justice as fairness is what Nelson calls “justice as true measuring” (p. 5).  He characterizes the Rawls pursuit as a search for “impersonal algorithms of justice” (p. 5).  This “abstracts justice into applying criteria that supposedly suit all times and individuals” (p. 5).  Much justice, however, “resists statement in criteria for all conditions” (p. 1).  Just getting by means that “No universal criteria get met, no golden ideals are kept” (p. 3).  Such justice is “variable rather than universal, prudent more than rational.  Yet this public justice leaves the people vital and civil” (p. 3).


Here I have argued the Pinochet precedent to be a vital, civil, prudent, yet variable exercise in justice.  It is a precedent rather than a rule.  It is a complicated case rather than a streamlined principle, and how it informs later action remains for diverse people to specify for their own workable acceptance in later situations.  The Pinochet case is a precedent for global governance, and it treats justice as just getting by.


Justice as just getting by is similar to that hallmark of British foreign policy:  muddling through (White 2002).  Brits have prided themselves on adapting to changing circumstances, such as the decline of British power around the globe after WW II.  They have acted, not by applying abstract principles specified in advance, but by adjusting earlier experiences and trajectories to present challenges.


A case in point is Tony Blair’s decision to go into Iraq “shoulder to shoulder” with George W. Bush in 2003.  Once it became obvious that George W. Bush was going to invade Iraq, regardless of UN or British opinions, Blair faced a painful decision:  have British forces invade with the US, or have Britain sit on the sidelines with some other NATO allies.  Press accounts suggest that principles of international law had little role in Blair’s choice.  Rather he seems to have made a cost-benefit calculation for that decision alone.  It emphasized the value to Britain of its “special relationship” with the United States.  This affirmed but also adjusted a trajectory at least as old as the Second World War and extended by Britain’s role in the earlier Gulf War led by the US.3


The claim is not that the Bush-Blair invasion has been right or smart.  Nor is it that Bush has been just muddling through in response to 9/11, Saddam Hussein’s attempt to have Bush’s father assassinated, or a sense of unfinished business.  To a striking extent, in fact, Bush seems to have acted from abstract, a priori, often liberal principles of international order and justice.  The categorical declaration of war on terrorism is an easy example.  The unqualified claim of national sovereignty is another.  In practical implementation, however, real perplexities can overwhelm nice principles.  To impose abstract models or balance fixed scales is to produce mistakes even in justice, because it prevents learning from the full field of specific information pertinent to any particular situation.  Blair, too, might have been mistaken in hitching the British war wagon to Bush’s.  But at least Blair’s mode of addressing the British situation could take the complications into adequate account.


There can be no global blueprint for advancing democracy.  There can be no global procedure for achieving justice.  Yet there can be specific actions and institutions that give us ways to work out particular improvements in our complex circumstances and actual trajectories.  Global governance is a repertoire of arrangements for confronting the troubles and opportunities of global interdependence more or less one at a time, with principles more evident in hindsight than prospect.  The many spheres of authority that worked together to produce the Pinochet precedent were ways for just getting by in that case and others.  As these somewhat satisfactory moves get us past acute problems or chronic perplexities, they become precedents.  Then their contributions to our practices of justice and democracy are no less – and often more – than the improvements made by any model specified in advance or template given in principle.


What can the Pinochet precedent tell us generally about the future of global governance?  It suggests that groups from civil society be included in GG processes.  At present, to be sure, they can participate mostly by breaking down doors to inner-circle negotiations.  The infamous Battle in Seattle at the WTO’s 1999 ministerial meetings led the WTO to make a place for NGOs at that bargaining table.  Should developing nations be accorded more of voice in GG?  Bloc diplomacy might be their best device, because it has enjoyed some success at environmental conferences since 1992 (Meyer 2004, pp. 286-288).


No one can say in the abstract how much global governance is “enough” or what global devices serve justice the most across all circumstances.  Still the Pinochet precedent implies that global governance is real and potentially beneficial, especially when appreciated as practical arrangements for human rights.  That precedent also indicates how global governance can work without yoking it to some singular idea of democracy or an abstract code of justice that requires advance assent from almost everybody.  Global governance that just gets by can serve us well.


1     On the whole, the book by Hewson and Sinclair is good enough on GG to make adjustments in its early principles worth the effort.

2     The occasion was the 2004 Foundations of Political Theory Workshop on Political Myth, Rhetoric, and Symbolism.  The workshop is a prelude to annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, and most of its participants that year specialized in political theory or philosophy.

3     I personally did not support the US-UK invasion of Iraq, nor would I have calculated the costs and benefits of British membership in Bush’s coalition as Blair did.  Largely unilateral invasions are not standard for global governance; in fact, such invasions are usually opposite to GG devices.  But GG can encompass apparently contradictory devices, because it pursues justice as just getting by – in much the same way as Blair did in 2003 and Britain generally has done by moving case-by-case in foreign affairs.  British policies proceed from precedents and trajectories more than abstract principles.


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Hitchens, Christopher.  2001.  The Trial of Henry Kissinger.  London: Verso Books.

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National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.  1993.  Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

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Rawls, John.  1971.  A Theory of Justice.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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White, Brian.  2002.  “British Foreign Policy:  Continuity and Transformation.”  Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective, Ryan K. Beasley, Juliet Kaarbo, Jeffrey Lantis, and Michael Snarr, eds.  Washington: CQ Press.