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Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society

State-Society Relations at UN World Conferences

Elisabeth Jay Friedman, Kathryn Hochstetler, Ann Marie Clark

Publication Year: 2005

Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society explores the growing power of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) by analyzing a microcosm of contemporary global state-society relations at UN World Conferences. The intense interactions between states and NGOs at conferences on the environment, human rights, women’s issues, and other topics confirm the emergence of a new transnational democratic sphere of activity. Employing both regional and global case studies, the book charts noticeable growth in the ability of NGOs to build networks among themselves and effect change within UN processes. Using a multidimensional understanding of state sovereignty, the authors find that states use sovereignty to shelter not only material interests but also cultural identity in the face of external pressure. This book is unique in its analysis of NGO activities at the international level as well as the complexity of nation-states’ responses to their new companions in global governance.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-

Tables

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pp. ix-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

This project started as an idea for a conference paper. Ann approached Kathy to see if she would be interested in writing a paper on international state-society relations by comparing two UN conferences. Kathy suggested bringing Elisabeth in on the project, as she had recently attended the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women. Nine years later, we have collaboratively written five...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

During the preparatory conferences for the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, several hundred nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) packed into a crowded sideroom in UN facilities every morning to coordinate their lobbying strategies. Individual NGOs were responsible...

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CHAPTER 1. Global State-Society Relations

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pp. 11-29

There is growing incongruity between the empirical evidence of global political actors and relationships, on the one hand, and the state-centric model of international relations, on the other. For several hundred years the ideal of the Westphalian nation-state system upheld a global politics based on the interaction, for good or...

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CHAPTER 2. Global Civil Society: Emergence and Impact

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pp. 31-67

The day before the Rio conference opened, the international environmental group Greenpeace got the first word in by attempting to blockade the port of the Aracruz Celulosa company, a major Brazilian pulp producer and exporter. Hanging banners reading “Aracruz Plantations Kill...

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CHAPTER 3. Global Civil Society and Latin America in the UN Conferences

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pp. 69-95

To further assess the extent and impact of global civil society we turn in this chapter to an evaluation of Latin American participation at UN world conferences: does it reinforce traditional divides between state and society in global politics or does it transform state-society relations in ways that suggest a democratization...

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CHAPTER 4. Sovereignty in the Balance

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pp. 97-128

Sovereignty is a key set of privileges that states, and no other kind of international actor, possess. The principle of sovereignty provides the rationale behind a state’s legal equality with other states, and protects its capacity for authoritative action vis-à-vis other actors. Assessments of the relative importance of state and...

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CHAPTER 5. Sovereignty Bargains and Challenges at the Conferences on Population and Development, Social Development, and Human Settlements

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pp. 129-155

Up to now, we have concentrated on the conferences on the environment, human rights, and women as case studies in the emergence and development of global civil society. In this chapter, we extend the study to three other contemporary UN conferences: the 1994 Conference on Population and Development, held at Cairo, 5-...

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CHAPTER 6. Global Civil Society: Transforming Sovereignty and Building Democracy?

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pp. 157-172

In this chapter, we return to our initial queries outlined in chapter 1: does a global civil society exist? If so, has it had an impact on the democratization of world politics, either in the development of an alternative nongovernmental global public sphere or in new global state-society relations? How do changes in global social...

Notes

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pp. 173-178

Bibliography

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pp. 179-203

Index

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pp. 205-217

SUNY series in Global PoliticsJames N. Rosenau, Editor

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pp. 219-221


E-ISBN-13: 9780791483848
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791463338
Print-ISBN-10: 0791463338

Page Count: 234
Illustrations: 8 tables
Publication Year: 2005

Series Title: SUNY series in Global Politics
Series Editor Byline: James N. Rosenau

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Civil society.
  • Non-governmental organizations.
  • Environmental economics.
  • Human rights.
  • Women's rights.
  • Sovereignty.
  • World politics -- 1989-.
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