Welcome to the Blogosphere, Multilateralist!
Foreign Policy has added a new blog to its roster that should be of interest to readers. Here is the description of the blog, named The Multilateralist and run by David Bosco, an assistant professor at American University’s School of International Service and the author of the excellent Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World:
States need to work together, but they often aren’t sure how. Building an organization makes cooperation seem real — nothing says multilateralism like an international secretariat and a headquarters with a bunch of flags flying outside. The world now has a dizzying and often confusing array of these multilateral institutions. Sometimes clumsy and sluggish, they are still a critical part of the diplomatic ecosystem.
Multilateralism may be here to stay, but it isn’t always easy to understand. Layers of bureaucracy sometimes obscure important debates. Each international forum has its own history, traditions and procedures. Some of them are written: It takes nine votes to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution and 85 percent of votes for the International Monetary Fund to make key decisions. Other “rules” won’t be found in any document or treaty: The top job at the United Nations never goes to an American; the World Bank presidency always does.
Through reporting and analysis, The Multilateralist will help its readers navigate this world. It will work to decipher some of its hieroglyphics and to place new developments in a historical context. Whenever possible, it will give readers a view from the inside. Tips and reports from those in the trenches of multilateralism will be a regular feature.
Early posts have focused on, inter alia, the ICC and (not surprisingly) the Security Council. David points out today that the 2012 Council may have more Great Powers than at any time in recent history, a possibility that he describes as “an interesting test run for how an altered Security Council might perform.” I hope he’ll write more on the subject, because I remain skeptical that P-5 will ever accept more permanent members, especially countries that — like Germany and India — rival them economically.
In any case, check The Multilateralist out!