The End of a Dream and the Risk of Global Chaos

Please join us for the following event, hosted by the UN and Global Order Programme (UNGOP) at the University of Reading:

A book presentation and discussion by Michael von der Schulenburg:

The End of a Dream and the Risk of Global Chaos.  Will strong nation-states and a stronger United Nations guarantee a new global order?

1 February 2018, 4pm, Palmer Building 107

Michael von der Schulenburg worked for 34 years for the United Nations, and shortly for the OSCE, including as Assistant Secretary-General, in many of the world’s trouble spots such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Balkans, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and in the Sahel. He participated in a number of strategic reviews of UN missions and review processes on UN reforms. He has written extensively on sensitive political issues and the role of UN peace missions. His most recent publication is On Building Peace – Rescuing the Nation State and Saving the United Nations, published in 2017 by Amsterdam University Press.

ABSTRACT: The hopes we had with the fall of communism in 1992 that liberal democracy had won, would now spread around the world, and lead to an era of prosperity, justice, stability and peace have evaporated. Instead, two geopolitical developments have set in that are deeply troubling to the West and that will have profound destabilizing effects on global peace and security. First, the West has lost its unique post-Cold War leadership in world affairs to an emerging multipolar world consisting of many competing global and regional powers with different political systems. Second, interstate wars have been replaced by intrastate armed conflicts between failing nation-states and increasingly powerful armed non-state actors as the new threats to global peace and security, threats for which we have no real answers. Without global leadership and with mounting numbers of countries sliding into armed conflicts in a world of rising populations, we risk drifting fast into global chaos. Michael von der Schulenburg, in presenting his book On Building Peace – Rescuing the Nation-State and Saving the United Nations, will make a provocative argument – based on long experience working in countries with wars, armed conflict, and social disintegration – that preserving a global order for the future will need what many thought to be outmoded or even dead: strong nation-states and a stronger United Nations.

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