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September 27 Deudaly and Mall.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
Justin Bumgardner

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September 272012 POL353How Britain and France Could Reform the UN Security CouncilDaniel Deudney and Hanns W MaullThe failures of the League and the even greater destruction of the Second World War catalysed the formation of the United Nations The centre of the organisation is the Security Council the most powerful organ of the UN in which the five victorious powers of the worldwar alliance were ensconced with permanent seats and veto power The Security Council thus ratified and institutionalised the prevailing balance of power and the status of the great powers in 1945The initial distribution of the council seats reflected a world in which Europe had played a commanding role but also one in which European states were beginning to be overshadowed as military and economic powers by states at the periphery of the European state system and beyond Europe was still heavily represented with two states the United Kingdom and France occupying two of the five permanent vetobearing seats This reflected the central place that Europe had occupied in world politics over the preceding centuries the historical role of Britain and France as great powers in the European state system and their positions in the victorious war allianceBritain and France as great powers in the UN system occurred on the eve of their rapid descent as colonial powers and as plausible great powers on the global stage In the nearly seven decades since the drafting of the charter the underlying balance of power has relentlessly shifted to the point where there is no justification for British and French claims to greatpower status History suggests Britain and France may be better in giving up this power history of British and French internationalismThe Industrial Revolution Britain created and dominated the first liberal internationalist order which was in many ways a precursor of todays international order Later during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath Britain closely cooperated with the United States in shaping the postwar liberal internationalist order from its inception in the Atlantic Charter of 1941 through the conference at Bretton Woods in 1944 to the foundation of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945 Since then Britain has been a significant contributor to many international regimes and organisations and to developmentassistance and peacekeeping efforts Its diplomats often exert a positive influence over world eventsUnited Kingdom played an important role in the abolition of slavery which was banned throughout the Empire in 1833 The British model of parliamentary democracy has been successfully transferred not only to the United States Canada Australia and New Zealand states founded by British settlers but India has been their greatest success France In this foreign policy insistence on the importance of the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular as well as support for the Third World has figured
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