New Global Institutions

New Global Institutions

Robert A. Schultz (Woodbury University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-922-9.ch012
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How do we decide which new global institutions should be created to implement the Global Economy Principles of Justice? It would be tempting to create authorities whenever wrongs and injustices need to be prevented or corrected. As I noted in Chapter 8, The Ethical Status of Globalized Institutions, the difficult question is, who oversees that an authority is using its power appropriately? We don’t want to create institutions with unchecked power, yet we don’t want to create any more authorities than absolutely necessary for the implementation of the Global Economy Principles of Justice. For if each new institution requires oversight, we apparently create an infinite regress: We need someone to oversee the oversight, and someone else to oversee whoever is overseeing the oversight, and so on. There are two possible ways to avoid this infinite regress. As I suggested in Chapter 10, public recognition of the existence of a social contract itself lessens the need for oversight and enforcement activity. Most people obey the law even when they are sure a policeman is not watching. The other way to avoid the regress, as I suggested in Chapter 8, was to use the checks and balances system of the branches of the US government. Effectively, each branch has oversight on the others. Three seems to be the right number of branches,1 and executive, judicial, and legislative branches are plausible.
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Mainly Political Institutions

Institutions designated as ‘mainly political’ chiefly implement the International Social Contract rather than the Global Economy Social Contract. Thus they are not within the primary scope of this book. But since they definitely interact with the institutions of the Global Economy Social Contract, some discussion is necessary. As long as there is generally recognized international law and ethical principles prohibiting aggressive war and genocide, we will need a judicial world court to determine violations and an executive institution to enforce the court’s judgements. Current institutions partially fulfill these functions. The judicial function is partially fulfilled by the International Criminal Court. The jurisdiction of the current International Criminal Court has not been accepted by the US, Russia, China, and India. It currently does not hear cases of aggressive war. These limitations need to be removed. Also, its judgements need to count as precedents for further judgments. For the executive function, the UN can mount peacekeeping forces but these have not been effective against genocide. Also, it currently does not have sufficient authority or military power to intervene in unjust wars. Beefing up military forces would help the UN in dealing with genocide. But for dealing effectively both with war and genocide, changes in governance to make the UN more responsive and more independent of major powers would be necessary. Regardless of what institutions are proposed, there remains the problem of the authority of such institutions over existing states or multinational corporations.

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