Monday, March 26, 2012

Anderson: Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order

Kenneth Anderson (American Univ. - Law) has published Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order (Hoover Institution Press 2012). Here's the abstract:

US-UN relations—which way will this always tenuous relationship go?

What exactly is the United Nations? For that matter, why is there still a United Nations at all? In Living with the U.N., international legal scholar Kenneth Anderson analyzes US-UN relations in each major aspect of the United Nations' work—security, human rights and universal values, and development—and addresses the crucial question of whether, when, and how the United States should engage or not engage with the United Nations in its many different organs and activities. He looks at each UN organ and function and suggests the form of engagement that the United States should take toward it, giving workable, pragmatic meaning to "multilateral engagement" across the full range of the United Nations' work.

Cutting through the "alphabet soup" of UN agencies, as well as the utopian idealism that, however noble, often clouds analyses of the United Nations, the book offers principles for a permanent relationship based on ideals and interests between the United States and the United Nations—and provides guidance for long-term US policy that runs far beyond the Obama administration's tenure. Ultimately, Living with the U.N. offers a vision of a better, but also more modest, United Nations—a vision unlikely to be realized but well worth presenting.