Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder. Paul Valéry Do what is right. Rosa Parks An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo The world is for the public good, such is the Great Way. Confucius *

Authors in this Web site

Arnaud Blin

Coordinator of the Forum for a new World Governance, specializing in international relations and the history of conflicts. He is the author of 15 books, including La Paix de Westphalie, 1648 (Complexe, 2006) and A History of Terrorism (University of California Press, 2007).

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Articles by this author in English

Environmental Governance and Managing the Earth

Could the COP 21 be our next Westphalian Moment?
¤ Arnaud Blin ¤ 5 December 2015
As the COP 21 is in full throttle, let me reflect briefly on a unique historical event that in some ways resembled the predicament we find ourselves in today. One might call it the “Westphalian Moment.” To disparage any misunderstanding, let me first make a distinction between this and what has been known as the Westphalian Order, whose revival I am not advocating in the least sense. The Westphalian Order that came about at the end of the Thirty Year War in 1648 and died a century ago in (...) read more

The Commons and World Governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 2 August 2012
It is only by moving from the idea of individual protection to the idea of protection of all that we can start to envisage the possibility of a global social contract. In other words, it is our global freedom, that is, our freedom to enjoy, thus to protect, what is common to all of us as a world community that will entice us to, and determine our will to extract ourselves from what is essentially becoming a global war on our planet, on our “commons,” and on ourselves. But what does this (...) read more

Proposals for a Fair and Democratic Architecture of Power
¤ Arnaud Blin, Cândido Grzybowski, Gustavo Marin, Jorge Romano, Ricardo Jiménez ¤ 24 December 2011
Building new governance is not only an institutional or theoretical question confined to the political or sociological spheres. All governance proposals and plans depend on the action and mobilization of a huge majority of people, actors, movements and populations. This is a critical issue. And ideas and proposals play a crucial role in such action and mobilization. This is why we need to remodel governance architecture by incorporating it into the perspective of biocivilization for the (...) read more

On the Road to Rio+20 - Proposals for a Citizen Project
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 3 January 2011
The upcoming UN Summit on Sustainable Development is to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, 20 years after the historic summit of 1992. According to its organizers, the summit’s objectives are: to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges. The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and (...) read more

The Role of Armies, Disarmament, and Conversion

Europe needs a Grand Strategy
¤ Arnaud Blin ¤ 14 June 2015
Several weeks ago, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, once again raised the idea of creating a European army. Arguing for the need to respond immediately to Putin’s affronts in Ukraine, Juncker went even further by underlining the effects that the construction of a common military structure could have on the future of Europe, on its security independence with regards to the United States, and on its capacity to project its heavy (...) read more

Legal Principles of a New World Governance

Global Governance and the Achievement of a Universal Civil Society
¤ Arnaud Blin ¤ 26 March 2014
I SUPPOSE men to have reached the point at which the obstacles in the way of their preservation in the state of nature show their power of resistance to be greater than the resources at the disposal of each individual for his maintenance in that state. That primitive condition can then subsist no longer; and the human race would perish unless it changed its manner of existence… But, as men cannot engender new forces, but only unite and direct existing ones, they have no other means of (...) read more

The Architecture of World Governance

Moving Toward a New World Governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin, Michel Rocard ¤ 6 July 2010
We are incontestably in a period in which we have broken away from a now vanished former order—insofar as “order” can apply to the Cold War—a period in which the world is seeking a new architecture of the world governance, seeking, in short, a governance yet to be found, that will be capable of apprehending the moment’s problems, anticipating tomorrow’s crises, and writing day-after-tomorrow’s history. In other words, seeking a governance system adapted to a henceforth globalized world, a “world (...) read more

The UN and World Governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 8 January 2009
Ever since it was established in the wake of World War II, the UN has asserted itself as one of the pillars of postwar world governance. It could even be said that at the institutional level, the United Nations constitutes the pillar of world governance: no other international organization comes anywhere near it in terms of size, legitimacy, and ambitions. Today, more than 60 years after it was set up, now that the long Cold War period is starting to become a distant memory and there is (...) read more

Rethinking Global Governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 2 January 2008
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there are some who believe that the future of architecture of global politics will require setting up a global-governance system. The global-governance issue is characterized by the shift from a scenario where the power of the states is regulated to avoid disequilibrium and maintain the status quo, to one where international law and the role of international institutions need to be redefined in terms of their real arbitration potential in the (...) read more

Rebuilding the Environmental Balance

After Copenhagen, Some Light on the Horizon
Henceforth, the Keys to the Future are Responsibility, Solidarity, and Courage

¤ Arnaud Blin ¤ 14 January 2010
What climate warming does is expose the ineptitude of our world-governance system in broad daylight, where Copenhagen was no more than a theatrical production, making us forget a truth, albeit blatant, which is that “world governance” remains fatally attached to the old principles of international relations that have been in force for centuries and, despite their being totally inadequate for our current context, are still governing the world today. 2009 is over, and here we are in 2010: it’s (...) read more

Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Peace Building

World Governance of Ressentiment*
¤ Arnaud Blin ¤ 10 March 2009
History offers us an infinite array of examples of major and minor conflicts born of ressentiment. Revolutions, the key periods marking a break from the past and generating major cycles of history, are often the result of a sudden explosion of old ressentiments. Following the great revolutions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and the eruption of major ideologies and virulent nationalist movements which have all, in some way, exploited legitimate ressentiments, the 21st century offers us (...) read more

Document Database

Inventing a New World Governance Now
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 22 January 2009
After 2008, which revealed the huge financial imbalances connected to globalization, 2009 raised the curtain on the geopolitical instability characteristic of the contemporary world. The year 2008 came to a wretched end with the twofold Madoff-Bush debacle ensuing from the arrogance, incompetence, and blindness of the money mongers and politicians of the past 10 years. Already, 2009 has brought forth a conflict from another age, throwing us 60 years back with an umpteenth setback that, in a mere few weeks, has swept up thousand of victims, mostly civilians, in its (...) read more

Rethinking Global Governance

Introduction: From international equilibrium to global governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 2 January 2008
The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, more than the shock of September 11, 2001, marked the end of a very long period in international history, that of the “balance of powers”. Since this historical event, the planet has been in a phase of geostrategic rupture. The model of “national security”, for example, even though it is still in use by the majority of governments, is being gradually replaced by an emerging collective conscience that leaves behind this overly restrictive framework. For (...) read more

Historical Heritage
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
Let us take a step back for a moment to take a look at the system we have inherited and certain mentalities that come with it, particularly those held by those in power, in order to better project us towards the future. The modern political architecture put in place in 1648 at the end of the Thirty Year War – a religious and political disaster that marks the height of European religious wars and that sees the last hegemonic attempt of the Hapsburg Empire. The Peace of Westphalia puts an end (...) read more

The materialization of philosophical models
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
In the 17th century, Thomas Hobbes brought to us the anarchical model that Thucydide had described earlier in a penetrating manner in his recounting of the History of the Peloponnesian War. Rousseau and Kant proposed federal models of collective security that inspired the (leaders of the) 20th century. Karl Marx admirably described, in ways whose echoes can still be heard today, the effects of capitalism and globalization. At the same time, Tocqueville understood from the outset the limits (...) read more

The rupture effect
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
Before talking about the architecture of a global governance, let’s summarize the current situation of “international relations” marked, even if by an accumulation effect, by a deep break with the past. Strong Westphalian heritage with the preponderant role of the State, with power struggles favoring the major powers and inter-State relations governed by the rules of the past Retreat, relative and maybe momentary, of two superpowers from the Cold War, including the USA after the Iraqi (...) read more

A realistic approach: the State at the heart of global governance
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
Whether we want it or not, the future of global governance is forced to undergo an in-depth reconfiguration of the modes that govern the relations between the primary actors of the international arena: the States. This observation might seem paradoxical because the “State” is characterized, above all, by its limits, blind-spots, bad habits, and inability to affront the issue of globalization. It is, for that matter, commonplace to talk of an inevitable erosion of the State, with the idea that (...) read more

The democratic equation
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
In theory, a community of democratic States would be able to provide a durable peace since democratic countries, as is well-known, do not go to war with one another (which does not prevent quarrels or even non-military conflicts). The thorny issue of “democratic peace” is that it requires a geopolitical environment consisting entirely of (fully) democratic countries, which, in spite of progress in this area, is far from being ensured. In other respects, this global democratization cannot be (...) read more

A realistic global governance
A three-part structure

¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
The problem that confronts those who would like to see a true global governance architecture emerge is that constructing what one dreams to build does not at all resemble what one might possibly construct, given the constraints, the limitations and the obstacles that we might face, and that one is often tempted to conceal or minimize. Thus, rather than dreaming of an illusory global democracy or a hypothetical global government, it seems much more reasonable to us to advance progressively (...) read more

A few concrete issues
Organized violence

¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
Next, it is a question of precise issues. We could evoke a lengthy list of more or less long term problems that concern us in the areas of public health, the environment, sustainable development, emigration, et cetera. Instead, we will limit ourselves here to a few issues that have been, and still are today, classic problems of “international relations.” Organized violence Let’s start by this problem that, since antiquity, is at the heart of the debate on governance – that of organized (...) read more

The terrorist threat
Nuclear power
The new wars

¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ July 2007
Since 2001, we have spoken much about the terrorist threat, even in an exaggerated manner on the part of certain governments that have exploited this threat to their gain. Indeed, terrorism does not threaten the stability of the planet, and, even less, the survival of the West. Nevertheless, it is a threat that goes beyond the framework of national boundaries and that, potentially, touches everyone. It is even one of the rare security issues that straddle the international, national and (...) read more

Summary of comments contributed by end of April 2008
¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ April 2008
For this first “discussion paper” submitted by the Forum for a New World Governance, we were not too sure what to expect. Would there be any reactions? Would they be interesting? Constructive? The idea was to throw out a line and follow its course. As the first initiative for this Forum for a New Global Governance – which did not even have a name yet – we were hoping that it would help us, at least in part, to define our direction. And there were, in fact, reactions, often lively, to this (...) read more


¤ Arnaud Blin, Gustavo Marin ¤ 5 December 2009
The document under discussion, The UN and World Governance, has elicited more than a dozen responses that address both the document itself and the questions that it was designed to raise. There proved to be little in the way of forceful reactions to the document itself, contrary to what one might have imagined given the nature of a subject matter that often provokes bitter debate. The document was nevertheless intended to provoke a reaction — which it certainly has — and most of the comments (...) read more

For this author, you will find on this Web site 23 article(s) in English, 21 article(s) in Spanish, 30 article(s) in French, 7 article(s) in chinese.

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