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Horizons of a grand theory of peace


Richard Falk

August 19, 2008

Presented at a conference at ICU, International Christian University, Tokyo earlier this year


I. Introduction

My approach to such a daunting challenge seeks to be attentive to the urgings of Professor Shin Chiba that “..our quest for a grand theory of peace should be made in response to the crisis of the present age as it is beset by [a] series of wars, the absence of peace and safety, environmental destruction, the structural cleavage between the haves and the have nots..” It is his claim that “a grand theory can only be justified by the strong demand for a new normative theory.

This new normative theory is supposed to serve the world by undertaking the..task of responding critically and constructively to the crisis of the present age.” I would only add that this sense of rooted concern and engagement with the lifeworld must also encompass, in Derridian fashion, `catastrophes to come,' what is menacingly present as negative potentiality when contemplating existing historical circumstances (of poverty, disease, genocidal strife, weapons of mass destruction, war dangers) and the most worrisome futures (severe climate change, energy squeeze, nuclear wars, pandemics, and the unseen).

Also, to face the crisis we must not be so arrogant as to exclude unforeseen and unforeseeable positive unfoldings of future world history that are not presently encompassed by our understanding of dominant trends.

In this respect, a grand theory of peace needs to encourage the utopian imagination as a way of not becoming entrapped by our sense of the probable or demoralized by the seeming absence of plausible emancipatory scenarios of the future. I understand this effort to construct a grand theory of peace in a global milieu afflicted with political violence, widespread militarism, and wildly irresponsible refusals to seek nuclear disarmament as expressive of an essentially utopian undertaking. It cuts against the grain of what exists and what can be reasonably foreseen by insisting on the relevance of a radical alternative. How can this undertaking be understood if not as an imaginative voyage to utopia?

In commenting upon the call for grand theory, Lester Ruiz introduces two indispensable caveats: he warns us about the hubris encoded in specifically Western globalizing narratives about what is wrong (diagnoses) and what to do about it (prescriptions); and he exhibits postmodern skepticism about any leveling of the diversities of experience and normative consciousness associated with existing universalizing enterprises, including even human rights.

It is illuminating, by way of illustration, to remind ourselves that until representatives of indigenous peoples organized effectively on an international level to assert their distinct vision of community and rightsabout thirty years ago their needs, values, and worldviews were completely neglected, if not unwittingly distorted, by those who were claiming universal applicability for the architecture of human rights norms being developed under the auspices of the United Nations in the decades following World War II. Before launching their own struggle waged in global arenas the indigenous outlook was mainly overlooked altogether by the United Nations, or at best on occasion mistakenly and unwittingly assumed to be no different than for modern Western societies. The only needed corrective according to Western liberal thought was to eliminate the multiple forms of discrimination against indigenous persons under varying national conditions that interfered with their assimilation and equality of treatment. Such false universalism was a natural consequence of the cultural and political atmosphere in the liberal democratic West that existed during the first half of the twentieth century.

Considering this hegemonic cultural hubris prevalent in the West, it should not be surprising that efforts to formalize human rights after World War II were a self-conscious projection of liberal ideology, reflecting the outlook and hopes of the countries victorious in the mid-century war. This liberal framework of individual rights lacked resonance within indigenous communities, it did not speak in their language or to their issues. It was not constituted on the basis of their participation. The process of engagement with the development of norms is as important for their favorable reception as the substantive content put forward as authoritative.

Of course, overcoming false universalism creates other obstacles. In this instance, a geopolitical backlash against the concerted efforts by the community of indigenous peoples to obtain endorsement from the United Nations for their seminal expression of collective identity, Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Similar considerations arising from the minimal participation in the process of norm creation and insensitivity to non-Western substantive perspectives also helps us to understand the suspicions of Asia, Africa, and even Latin America about this supposedly universal framing of human rights. One expression of the post-colonial outlook that emerged in the 1980s was to offer critical responses in the name of Asian, African, and Islamic values, among others, to universalizing claims associated with a West-centric world order. These issues of perception and substance cannot be detached from historical memories and experiences, especially the tension between the civilizing pretensions of the colonial powers and the harshness of their actual patterns of domination. When the West offers moral blessings to the former colonial world, the response is expectedly fraught with suspicion.


II. Impossible Posssibilities

But beyond being suspicious about universalizing narratives and proposals, Ruiz insists that for progressive theorizing to be credible its thought must be connected with concrete actions, with political projects that posit transformational goals and advocates tactics of engagement taking account of diverse circumstances, whether the scope and scale of action is local, national, regional, or global. Ruiz illustrates this demand for concreteness by reference to the Japanese Peace Constitution, which he views as a `translation' of Kant's Perpetual Peace, an application of abstract ideas that is in Ruiz's language “transformed' into structure.”

Enigmatically, yet somehow capturing the ambiguities inherent in a projected reality that seems incapable of realization, Ruiz tells us that “[h[ere, grand theory becomes an impossible possibility.” We are left to wonder about this impossible possibility, whether it means that the realization of the goals of the Japanese peace constitution is stymied either by our lack of imagination or weakness of commitment, or possibly both.

There may also be a problematic fit between the constitutional commitment to renounce war as a national option and the concrete realities of the Japanese world experience and geographical proximity to `normal' states that have not even contemplated negotiating a renunciation of war, much less the more radical step of giving up war unilaterally. What, in fact, did Japan promise to do, and what has it actually done? Has it honored the commitment or does the Japan Self-Defense Force amount to a decisive evasion? If this evasion contradicts the commitment, what would be the detrimental further effect of revising the constitution to normalize Japan in a world order that is still shaped by the war system?

But also the impossibility may reflect from resistance by power centers within and outside Japan, as well as the existence of political, cultural, economic, and social structures that inhibit the realization of these idealistic goals despite their constitutional status in Japan. The complex role of the United States is obviously central to this unusual relationship that Japan has with its own constitution. Initially, the U.S. used its influence as occupying power to impose a peace constitution, then it used its influence as security guarantor and senior ally to encourage Japan to assume a greater burden in the defense of its homeland and in the provision of security in northeast Asia. In recent decades, the U.S. Government would look with favor at the abandonment of the peace constitution by Japan that it had insisted upon back in 1945. In the end, can we give any sort of coherent answer to what made the possible impossible? The best that we can do is to suggest that the explanation is over-determined, and no one factor tells the entire story.

Despite the difficulties, we still need to do our best to understand what makes this possibility impossible? And more hopefully, what might in the future make this possibility possible, what has to happen to overcome the distorting shadow of impossibility cast across a commitment written into the highest law of the land. The sad circumstance of present world order is disclosed by our appreciation that the most plausible account of this possibility is extremely disconcerting: namely, that the best chance of credible realization would be in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Again such dark foreboding is hopefully inaccurate, and is one more indication that our intellectual powers of anticipation are feeble, which reaffirms the case for `grand theory' and for bestowing greater trust in an imaginative ethics that believes in the possibility of what we hope for, provided we do our best to reach the promised land of our goals, which would itself be only a resting place, while we reformulated a new critique of what exists and a new panorama of what would make the future a better habitat for humanity.

Given the dominance of adverse global trends (environmental, demographic, economic, and political), the non-responsive solidity of structures associated with a deepening multi-dimensional crisis, and the absence of any broadly credible emancipatory imaginary anywhere visible, many are tempted to subscribe to postures of either realistic hopelessness, sentimental wishful thinking, or more commonly, turn away from these issues by self-immersion in the many escape routes provided by modernity, most characteristically, the allurements of consumerism and the numbing effects of TV, computer games, and professional sports.

This closure partly reflects a mood of ideological disillusionment that became widespread after the discrediting of socialism, at least as theorized by Marxist/Leninist advocates and practiced by the Soviet Union and its East Europe satellites. This depressive mood emphasized a persistent historic pattern of failure in which socialism, as operative, proved disappointing to many of its most ardent champions whether it found itself in oppositional or governing roles. It was disappointing either because it turned out to be authoritarian and corrupt or because it gave so much ground up to its capitalist rival as to betray the socialist vision of a just society, and of dedication to the attainment of a just world order.

The outcome of the Cold War also created a triumphalist space that allowed market fundamentalists, and conservatives generally, to insist that only liberal principles of political economy could produce legitimate governance.

Discrediting the socialist option is acknowledged with a heavy heart by those of progressive sensibility as it left the playing fields of politics especially vulnerable to market behavior of a particularly predatory form. With socialism no credible longer as a rival, capitalism could veer toward its cruelest and most inequitable variant, and repudiated its stabilizing and compassionate reliance on Keynesian economics and weakened the human support structures of the welfare state. This newly relentless sway of market forces, sustained by the ideological hegemony associated with the voluntary conversion of the main socialist challengers to neo-liberal capitalism, dooms any serious prospect for the formation of human community within or among sovereign states, and has been continually widening disparities in material circumstances, turned a mainly blind eye to rampant poverty and unemployment, while boasting about sustained aggregate growth rates.

Socialism also suffers from when translated from abstract idea to political practice, suggesting another instance of an impossible possibility.

Without a dominant identity that exhibits solidarity with the whole of humanity the socialist ethos inevitably succumbs to nationalist agendas, but such a species identity contradicts the psycho-political organization of the world by reference to sovereign states and imperial relations. In a striking indictment of the severe normative failings of socialism long before the collapse of Soviet socialism, a leading progressive figure, Gabriel Kolko writes in his latest book, provocatively, yet tellingly, that “We have to remember that had the socialists opposed war in 1914 through their actions and votes then Bolshevism would never have emerged as the dominant force on the world Left, fascism would not have followed, and the entire tragic history of the twentieth century would have been far different.”

Of course, retrospective speculation cannot construct a meaningful alternative unfolding of the history of the last century, but it can underscore the consistent disappointment associated with the record of socialist action, especially when it came to the claims of colonized peoples or challenges to nationalist values. This widespread disappointment with socialist behavior in political arenas should not be carried too far, as this would encourage us to abandon prematurely the continuing promise of socialist thought and values. Perhaps, part of what a grand theory needs to do is conserve socialist thought and values without subscribing to the language and legacy of socialism, as well as detaching such thought and values from its historically consistent subordinate relationship to exploitative overseas expressions of nationalism and periodic domestic displays of xenophobia and racism.

Disentangling bad memories of socialist experience from the promise of a socialist ethos may require us to find a new ideological language that embodies a globalizing ethos, hopefully a possible possible given current world conditions. It would seem that the historical failures and disappointments of socialism were largely connected with its various domestic and overseas endorsements of nationalizing versions of political truth, which are always available, and discouragingly effective. These conditions make appeals to mass prejudice and provincialism irresistible for opportunistic politicians in periods of perceived crisis. As well, the neoliberal mainstream was tactically adept at confusing the historical experience associated with the failures of socialism with the proper outcome of a debate about how to construct genuinely democratic societies committed to justice. People almost everywhere were convinced to believe that the only possible alternatives for society were a choice between neoliberal capitalism and Soviet-style socialism.

As the distinguished Iranian philosopher, Abdolkarim Soroush, has recently argued this atmosphere of cultural despair exhibits a downturn in secular understanding of the human condition. In Soroush's words, “[t]his non-secular way of thinking about the world is at odds with the doom-laden suppositions about a tired and overburdened God.” With a nod to Karl Popper's secular epistemology, Soroush goes on to argue that “[p]reconceived judgements about the future should be rejected because, as Popper said, they are not falsifiable.” The contrasting outlook associated with religious perspectives is more hopeful: “All religions are optimistic about the future, even when confronted with the signs of doom..From a religious viewpoint, there is always somebody who overlooks the whole, and who cares about people. Abrahamic religions embrace an energetic God.”

III. The (Im)possible Possibility

Neither hopelessness nor mindless optimism is consistent with a commitment to grand theory, which as Ruiz persuasively acknowledges, involves a tantalizing suspension of disbelief, that is, an (im)possible possibility. The parenthesis is key, suggesting that historical reality may yet fool the rational mind and its pessimistic readings of the human future. Having been habituated to realist boundaries for thought and action, long educated by the very definition of politics as `the art of the possible,' there needs to be a candid acknowledgement that any grand theory deserving of affirmation necessarily involves a series of explorations that unfold beneath the contrary defining slogan — politics as the art of the impossible! In this respect, what is being affirmed is that the merely `possible' has become normatively `impossible', that is, from ethical, legal, and spiritual perspectives.

Or put differently, that rationality, with its economistic reasoning and foreshortened imagination operating with a false consciousness that believes that change comes incrementally and at the margins of what exists, cannot guide either thought or action in the direction of a peaceful, just, equitable, and sustainable set of futures.

A contrary view of change has been gaining ground during the last several decades, which is based on the an image of `a jumping universe' where the unexpected is the norm, and the reality we experience is formed by leaps and lurches, not by smooth curves that presuppose continuity, and hence predictability. In Nassim Nicholas Taleb's intriguing recent book, The Black Swan, a similar argument centers on “our blindness” as observers “to randomness, particularly the large deviations.” The arresting image of black swan derives from the assumption that all swans were assumed to be white based on the experience of swans in Europe where they were all in fact white; the shock of coming upon black swans in Australia, symbolizes for Taleb the exclusion of the unexpected, and thus unanticipated, from our sense of reality, which means for him excluding what matters most.

In Taleb's words, “Almost everything in social life is produced by the rare but consequential shocks and jumps; all the while almost everything being studied about social life focuses on the `normal,' particularly with `bell curve' methods of inference that tell you close to nothing.” Taleb blames “the drive to `focus' on what makes sense to us,” inciting him to write, “[l]iving on our planet, today, requires a lot more imagination that we are made to have. We lack imagination and repress it in others.” In effect, an unabashed unleashing of the moral and political imagination seems to be the correct epiastemological move for a grand theory of peace, without subscribing to an intimidating discipline of sweet reasonableness. This remains difficult in practice as we are all socialized to engage in discourses that seem guided by reason and reasonableness, which from the black swan worldview, and produces essentially useless knowledge.

Taleb contends that we are likely to experience an increasingly unpredictable future, yet anyone with the temerity to anticipate what (s)he calls “the highly improbable consequential event” will almost certainly to be dismissed as “a lunatic.” I interpret such a view of what we can't know in advance as also entailing a decisive repudiation of either optimism or pessimism, that is, of either a posture of complacency toward the future because technology or markets will overcome the challenges confronting the world or a posture of despair that submits to the apparent immobility of outmoded political structures as preserved by selfish, shortsighted, and dysfunctional elite mentalities with access to weapons of mass destruction, which if used, might imperil human survival, and would certainly end hopes for humane global governance.

And possibly this is the time to work toward a cosmopolitan meta-narrative that is constructed inter-civilizationally, and is sensitive to local ordeals, regional opportunities, and ecological imperatives, but is also aware of a shared planetary and human destiny. Whether the dawning of this awareness could move world politics in directions associated with `moral globalization,' a commitment to oppose genocide wherever encountered, implementing the new norm of a `responsibility to protect,' rather mindlessly authorized by UN Security Council mandate, being yet another impossible possibility. Besides the challenge to all of humanity posed by genocidal behavior anywhere, there exists also an ecological agenda that engages human destiny as a whole, although it manifests its effects diversely in ways that complicate efforts to mobilize collective action. In the end, many ecological issue can only be addressed effectively if treated holistically as a global phenomenon.

Obviously, different levels of development and resource endowments relative to population size and material circumstances, risk making an over-generalized meta-narrative work regressively, but a strengthening sense of human unity seems like a necessary step in reconstituting political identity in ways that enable constructive policies, whether the issues involve genocide or global warming. How we inscribe this more interactive reality of the human condition metaphorically may well be of crucial relevance to prospects for overcoming the impossibilities inherent In the present global setting.

Looking back on recent history we find a sequence of improbable, that is, `(im)possible' emergences, some emancipatory, others catastrophic. On the emancipatory side, illustratively, the successful struggles against colonial rule, the sudden collapse of the Soviet empire allowing for widespread self-determination in Eastern Europe and Asia, the near peaceful transformation of apartheid South Africa under the miraculous leadership of Nelson Mandela. On the catastrophic side, again illustratively, the Stalinist hijacking of the Russian Revolution, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, the development and use of the atomic bomb in 1945, the political resurgence of religious extremism on a global scale, the ascent to power in the United States of neoconservative ideologues of the far right. Each of these monumental occurrences came about as surprise that could not have been reasonably predicted, and yet decisively altered the geopolitical landscape. Looked at from the perspective of `(im)possible possibility' it was impossible prospectively, yet not only possible retrospectively, but fully explicable looking backward in time.


IV. Horizoning of Thought and Imagination

Taking account of these considerations I think requires reframing thought and action to encourage greater openness to the unexpected. In this paper I rely on the metaphorical image of `horizons' to depict a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that seeks to be responsive to the mandate of a grand theory of peace. So as to make a polemical point, I demean conventional wisdom as `white swan thinking,' seeing no further than horizons of feasibility will allow.

This acknowledges that these horizons set the boundary for responsible and currently influential conversation and recommendations about the state of the world based on expected or feared developments, and generally restricted to the domain of those interests belonging to prevailing elites. These horizons of feasibility also set dispiriting limits on learning and scholarship by their restrictive conceptions of what is to be regarded as `knowledge' within mainstream academic institutions. In contrast, I designate as horizons of desire visions of and priorities for the future that correspond to projections of our values rather than to our interests and our reasonable extrapolations of the present. Horizons of desire are animated by trust and reliance upon imaginative capacities, and depend upon civil society sites of struggle, alternative learning communities, and enclaves of resistance that are found throughout society.

Further, I would encourage attention to what can be called horizons of necessity that identify certain essential benchmarks of vulnerability and dysfunction that will need to be addressed if horizons of desire are ever to become attainable. On these latter horizons I would emphasize a second cycle of ecological urgency, as well as the lethal linkage of a neoliberal world economy and an apocalyptic war machine that wastefully and dangerously squanders the resources that are required for any sort of manageable transition to a humane variant of post-Westphalian world order. There is little doubt that horizons of necessity are mostly no longer more distant than horizons of desire, meaning both that horizons of feasibility are becoming irrelevant as policy options in relation to the vital agenda of global governance and that the interval available for an acceptable transition is shrinking in such a way as to make us feel hopeless to the extent that our consciousness about the future is shaped by reliance on reason and reasonableness.

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V. The Journey of the Citizen Pilgrim

We must not forget the critical side of grand theory. It is from critical exposure that oppressive conditions become more transparent, making opposition and struggle more likely to exert influence. Our inability to know the future does not mean that we should renounce our agency, and leave our destiny in the hands of those who (mis)manage structures of power and authority. It means struggle and defiance, resistance as appropriate, acting as if horizons of desire were the foundations of our presence in the lifeworld. A few lines from Günter Eich's poem Dreams are rather inspirational for me:

No, don't sleep while the arrangers of the world are busy!
Be suspicious of the power that they claim
to have to acquire on your behalf!
Stay awake to be sure that your hearts are not empty, when
others calculate on the emptiness of your hearts!
Do what is unhelpful, sing songs from out of your mouths
that go against expectation!
Be ornery, be as sand, not oil in the thirsty machinery
of the world!

Such circumstances, so configured, influences our sense of self as actor in the world, as well as our views of community and loyalty. I have chosen the `citizen pilgrim' as a preferred mode of personal engagement, endeavoring in a Gandhian spirit, to become the change I advocate. The lineage of `the pilgrim' traces back to a passage in Chapter 11 of St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews where `faith' is associated with trust in what cannot be immediately experienced, and in which life is dedicated to something more fulfilling and `better' than what exists under current conditions.

Within a grand theory of peace, this reframing of citizenship intends to free a person from two forms of bondage: from a presumed exclusive loyalty to any bounded community, especially nation and state; and from a sense that human solidarity can be understood as limited to what currently exists in space. It is Habermas as much as any leading political thinker who has emphasized a critical approach to nationalism by way of `patriotic constitutionalism,' fidelity to the constitutional directives that look toward respect for the rule of law at home and abroad, and an unwillingness to cede final moral judgment as to the acceptability of governmental authority to decrees of the state and its leaders, whether elected or not. The law is `the law' only if it does not violate the contours of conscience, and the responsibility of a citizen to work toward respect for international law and the United Nations.

The citizen pilgrim has a cosmopolitan identity, rooted in the particulars of place and experience, yet affirming human differences and shared destinies, but even more, possesses a questing identity that implies a deep involvement with a crucial journey in time, toward a desired future. This desired future affirms the relevance of horizons of desire, but also encourages an imaginative entanglement with the `impossible possibility,' as well as with the `not yet' or `to come' in relation to normative potentiality. In these respects, the citizen pilgrim is hopeful because not entrapped by limitations of the feasible, including its abundant opportunities for escape and encouragement of denial. Despair is unavoidable if our political consciousness is restricted to that which is habitual, or seems likely, or just possible, relying on what we know or reasonably expect.

Being located in post-9/11 America undoubtedly alters my outlook by imparting a certain urgency to a series of immediacies: the repudiation of liberal legality at home and abroad in the name of anti-terrorism; the maintenance of an extraordinary military machine that views the entire planet as a potential war zone and relies upon its lethality to destroy whatever resists; the espousal of a geopolitical grand strategy that combines the worst features of Westphalian territorial sovereignty with the worst features of post-Westphalian globalization, that is, refusing to relinquish its sovereign prerogatives while disregarded the sovereignty of others. In essence, claiming to be simultaneously a state among states and to be a global state (or empire). These issues are primarily structural, and cannot be addressed by the forthcoming presidential elections.

At the same time, these concerns raised have been definitely intensified by the influence currently exerted by ideological extremists of neoconservative persuasion throughout the Bush presidency. Reverting to the approach taken here, if a Democratic president is elected in 2008 it will likely, at best, restore a realist orientation to American leadership that will encourage greater restraint and prudence in the use of military power, more emphasis on multilateralism in the shaping of global policy, more attention to the challenge of global warming, and less abuse of human rights and fewer departures from international humanitarian law. These are moves that can be anticipated, although far from assured, depending on the absence of severe dislocating events (e.g. a second 9/11). Within the framework depicted here, such positive developments are consistent with the horizons of feasibility, but they do not address at all the more fundamental of American hegemonic orientation toward global governance: militarism, global reach, and the dark sides of globalization.

Al Gore, who has been in active recently in warning Americans and the world about the deepening menace of global warning, explained his low expectations for significant change despite approving of the leading Democratic candidates now campaigning for the nomination; he called them “good persons trapped in a bad system,” which is another way of concluding that normal politics even in a constitutional democracy is incapable of overcoming the crisis of global governance.

Approached from another angle it seems that `the modern social imaginary,' which as depicted by Charles Taylor, “ not a set of ideas, rather it is what enables, through making sense of, the practices of society.” More concretely envisioned, this modern social imaginary cannot transcend the mechanisms of market, individuation, and popular sovereignty, thereby being unable to discern the practices that might enable adjustment to postmodern imperatives. At most we can ask what might be the defining practices of a postmodern social imaginary that seemed responsive to horizons of necessity/desire. Although Taylor acknowledges the reality of `multiple modernities,' his presentation is confined to a West-centric understanding that does even admit the extent to which other social imaginaries, whether modern or not, were oppressed, exterminated, and ignored by the West.

At the very least, it is possible to affirm that a citizen pilgrim seeking humane global governance would have to be in continuous dialogue with the major civilizational voices that make up the world, and not ignore the social imaginaries of indigenous peoples. It is more characteristic of indigenous worldviews to be sensitive to sustainable living on the earth through time, deriving sacred wisdom from oral teachings that stretch back seven generations in time, and look forward another seven generations. Such horizons of desire are embedded in time, and yet are timeless, inviting the citizen pilgrim to take a long journey backwards and forwards, and yet not feel any pressure to travel in space. This is both an extreme expression of ecological sensitivity and virtue, but also a realization that horizons of desire may not only be attainable, but are surprisingly accessible, requiring only a small shift in consciousness.



• See unpublished paper by Shin Chibas, “On Perspectives of Peace,” Aug 2007, 5.

• For further reflections on reviving the utopian sensibility see Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2007), esp. pp. 94-110; also Russell Jacoby, The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy (New York: Basic Books, 1999).

• See unpublished paper by Lester Ruiz, “The (Im)possibility of a Grand Theory of Peace, Security, and Conviviality.”

• The first international efforts to take account of this gap in human rights consciousness resulted from initiatives undertaken without the participation of representatives of indigenous peoples in an unlikely global arena, the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. It is not surprising that these well-intentioned gestures did not fill the gap, but only underscored the insufficiencies of indirect and unauthorized representation. It was only when indigenous peoples succeeded in acquiring their own arena within the UN System did their normative outlook receive a meaningful statement, and this required a prolonged effort because of diversities among the hundreds of quite different world views encompassed by the term `indigenous peoples.'

For relevant texts see “Concerning the Protection and Integration of Indigenous and Other Tribal and Semi-Tribal Populations in Independent Countries,” ILO Convention No. 107, 26 June 1957; “Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries,” ILO Convention No. 169, 27 June 1989. Compare the document prepared under the auspices of indigenous peoples acting on their own as a forum convened by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. For text see “Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” (1994). This authentic text has encountered resistance from states that feel threatened by the claimed right of self-determination belonging to indigenous peoples.

• For an illuminating presentation of the worlview and circumstances of indigenous peoples, especially as it relates to the claim of self-determination see Maivan Clech Lam, At the Edge of the State: Indigenous Peoples and Self-Determination (Ardsley, NY: Transnational, 2000).

• For elaboration see Richard Falk, Human Rights Horizons: The Promise and Prospects of World Order (New York: Routledge, 2000).
See Ann Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
See Ruiz, Note 3, 2.

• As I have argued in Richard Falk, Predatory Globalization: A Critique (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 1999).

• A significant part of this story involves the weakening of organized labor as a political force within leading countries and internationally, and a rising influence of the business and finance sectors.

• For devastating critique along these lines, see Gabriel Kolko, After Socialism: Reconstructing Critical Social Thought (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2006).



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