Who Fails? The United Nations or Nation-States? Or Both Fail?

Who Fails? The United Nations or Nation-States? Or Both Fail?
Author: Atatüre, Süha
Journal: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 13, Number 1 / May 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/jogs/2022.01.07

The subject of this article is based on the idea that our world has been going through an anachronistic process for more than thirty years. This anachronism arises from the contradictions between the nation-state and the democratic state of the global age. Two reasons for this dissonance are important: (1) the nation-states' commitment to their national interests and (2) American hegemony. Therefore, although the world has been living in a global age since the 1990s, many institutions, especially the nation-states and the United Nations, have not been transformed yet from the international system to the global system features. In addition to this fundamental transformation problem, the world is facing global problems in the fields of social, economic, and security. I define all of these problems as ‘integrated threats.’ Likewise, I argue that the elimination of this threat can be solved by ‘integrated responsibility’ accepted by all states. This article explains why we are compelled to structural transformation, and the concepts of integrated threat and integrated responsibility.

Keywords: United Nations, globalization, integrated threat, national interest, civil society.

Süha Atatüre, İstanbul Gedik University more


In the twenty-first century, the international system has entered the period of transformation into a global system while the nation-state is also experiencing the pain of the transformation process into a democratic state. The main reason why this transition process proceeds far from easily is the problem of sovereignty and its transformation. Sovereignty has been one of the two elements of the state since the first day it was formed. Claessen and Skalník defined this first formation as an early state. Early state ‘is a centralized sociological organization for the regulation of social relations in a stratified society divided into two classes of newly formed, one ruling and one ruled’ (Claessen and Skalník 1993: 18). When the early state transformed from a city-state into a feudal state, from a feudal state into an absolutist state, the sovereignty of the rulers was not questioned (Grotius 1967: 30; Hobbes 1988: 96–100; Anderson 1989: 17; Bloch 1995: 316; Keene 2002: 49; Krasner 2006: 81).

Later the concept of indivisibility of sovereignty and unity of powers was replaced by the principle of separation of powers between the judiciary, legislative and executive powers, and thus the concept of division of sovereignty emerged (Montesquieu 1989: 156–166). The idea of Montesquieu, the division of the ruler's absolute sovereignty with the principle of separation of powers and thus, the democratic character of the state took place only at the end of the twentieth century, and as a feature of the nation-state, the absolute sovereignty turned into flexible and limited sovereignty. Krasner accepts that contrary to the nation-states it is safe to claim that since the 1990s the concept of sovereignty has reached a status completely different from the Westphalian understating of sovereignty (Krasner 2006: 90).

As a matter of fact, speaking about the change of the nation-state's sovereignty, Grinin mentions the regional and global effects of technological and economic changes and avoiding wars. However, the voluntary factor can be considered the most important factor in narrowing the scope of authority to gain extra prestige and benefits (Grinin 2009: 9). Indeed, the conscious and voluntary will of those who govern a state should be regarded as the main prerequisite of the transformation into a democratic state. Undoubtedly, the nation-state here faces two compelling pressures on this transformation: 1) community power and 2) the impact of the globalization process. Non-governmental organizations, which are getting stronger, reveal the power of society. On the other hand, the Internet takes social media nationwide and globally. This globalizes society's struggle against the state and forces the state to become democratic.

In this article, I discuss the importance of the transformation of structures of all international organizations, and especially of the United Nations, to gain global characteristics, and the transformation of the nation-state into a democratic one. I argue that the main reason for this is that only with such a structural transformation can the integrated threats be countered with integrated responsibilities which concern on the global threat to our World.

Nation-State and the United Nations

Hayek concludes the last paragraph of his book The Road to the Serfdom with the following words, ‘Soon intense efforts will be observed to make the international organization, which is probably thought to be very comprehensive and global, and even the necessity to create a new institution of the League of Nations type will be felt’ (Hayek 1943: 292). Hayek was right in his foresight and the United Nations (UN) was established in 1945 in the form of the League of Nations. The United Nations was created in accordance with both the political understanding and the nation-state structure of the time. The state's national interests were essential. Peace should not be broken as much as possible, if peace was broken, peaceful negotiations should be sought urgently (BM Charter: Art 51–53).

When we think of historical developments of the state, we speak about three waves of technical, geographical and political expansion of our World passing from one to another since the 1490s. We denote the first wave of expansion starting in the 1490s as colonialism, the second wave of expansion starting in the 1850s was called imperialism, and the third wave of expansion started in the 1980s and is described as globalization (see Table 1; also Oran 2018: 16).

Table 1

Three Waves of Expansion of the World



the 1490s


the 1870s


the 1990s




Industrial Revolution

Steamboat & Rail

Information Age

1. Multinational Firms

2. Communication Revolution

3. Collapse of the USSR


First conquerors and explorers, then a military invasion

First missioners, after explorers, then trade firms, and the last military invade

Cultural & ideological effect (so everywhere of the country being affected as economic, politic and socially)



Missioners, ‘We bring the God's religion to you, pagans’

White men's burden,

Mission to make them civilized,

Whites are superior

1. The highest level of civilization

2. Invisible hand of the market

3. Globalization provides benefits for everyone





The concept of ‘international’ emerged with the Treaty of Westphalia after the period of colonization and developed after the French Revolution. Like the international system, the international order and the international community were also formed in this period. When international relations expanded from relations between European countries to other states of the world, the world system, world order, and world society were formed.

The first and second Hague Conventions were held in 1899 and 1907 in the Hague with the participation of forty-five countries from all over the world. This was the first time in political history that the relationships between the states. Therefore, the conferences should be considered to have a worldwide scale and the system of relations established by the conventions. The coverage area and human rights are the main differences between international order and World order.

The international order is mainly concerned with European states. The world system, world order, and world society were formed with the establishment of the United Nations, which includes all states and prioritizes human rights, and prevents wars. Unfortunately, the United Nations could not realize the new world order, world system and society in accordance with its aims. The states' national interests and the principle of non-interference became the main issue of the United Nations. This problem rendered the United Nations ineffective. For this reason, the UN could not adapt to the global era that emerged after the 1990s, as it could not achieve a structural transformation. As a matter of fact, the United Nations was actually no other structure but the continuation of the international understanding originating from the order of 1648 Westphalia (Held et al. 2008; Steger 2003: 58). Additionally, the United Nations was an organization in which governments are member states. Undoubtedly, governments represented their states, but the question was whether the representation was sufficient. Some states were unable to provide an appropriate representation of the population by electoral systems. Moreover, the social power of the states was completely ignored. Therefore, the UN turned into a lame duck since the year it was founded. This deficiency was not noticed in the first years of existence of the UN, but this situation would come to the front be understood with the decisions that were taken or could not be taken years later.

Two Powers of the Nation-State

The basic principle of institutionalization of the state is related to two force fields that constitute the state, namely, material and social. Material forces, in general, are the armed forces, police and gendarmerie, local branches of the government structure, economic system, and bureaucracy of the state. Social dimensions is constituted by the public (individuals, groups, civilian and non-civilian society), which is out of material forces and independent of all kinds of the class system, layered (temporal), economic, political, and ideological differentiation. They are the individual and collective forces with their ideas and actions. The sovereign state with its government controls material forces and wants to literally be a mechanism that controls social forces (Atatüre 2016: 101). In non-demo-cratic regimes and even in hybrid ones, this control turns into a state obsession. The state not only establishes, governs, and controls material forces with all of its powers, but it also molds the social forces into the ideological stereotype it desires.

Ostensibly, states exist for their people. However, the state has failed to achieve this simple objective for thousands of years. Instead of existing for the people, the state exists mostly for itself (Akal 2005: 395). This means the state uses its power to control the people, and when it is unable to control them, it resorts to violence. That is why Hannah Arend describes bureaucracy, the backbone of the state, as, ‘the form of government in which everybody is deprived of political freedom of the power to act’ (Arend 2003: 97–98). In the twenty-first century, social force is a field that is becoming harder for the state to handle and control.

Earlier in this work, I have pointed out that colonialism, imperialism, and globalism produce their own types of states as a result of the three expansions of the World. These expansions also created their type of states as an absolute, nation, and democratic. The characteristics of the absolute, nation, and democratic states are shown in Table 2.

Table 2

Three Waves and Three Main Characteristics of States


the 1490s

the 1890s

the 1990s









1. Absolute Sovereignty

2. Central administration

3. Territoriality

4. The people

1. Sovereignty

2. Central administration

3. Territorial Integrity

4. Unity of Language

5. National Citizenship,

6. Constitutional political system

1. Sovereignty / Reduced

2. Central administration Distributed

3.Territorial Integrity / Subjective

4. Bilanguality

5. Global Citizenship

6. Constitutional political system based on parliament,

7. Human rights, Democracy, Rule of Law, Civil society

According to the third column of Table 2, in the twenty-first century, the nation-state should divest part of its authority to local governments by shrinking the central structure that controls the bureaucracy as a whole and its material forces. This relinquished power actually gives new vigor to the whole state. The state must recognize that monolingualism should be applied only to the official language, that the public is free to use its own language, and that a universal language is a prerequisite for global relations. The state should not forget the universalism of citizenship, must view individuals as citizens, and must recognize that universal citizenship is a global right in its relations with individuals and the public. It should agree to establish and protect universal principles, namely the rule of law, human rights, animal rights, and protection of the environment and nature, as important values of a constitutional political system and democratic life (Atatüre 2016: 102).

While the nation-state homogenizes society, the democratic state tolerates heterogeneity. While the nation-state practices oppression and violence against society, the democratic state emphasizes the norms of law and the notion of rights that enable society to coexist. While the basic driving force of the nation-state is ideology, the democratic state is based on contemporary theoretical realities. Ideologies demand society's loyalty, whereas theoretical consciousness prompts society to think, which means that civil society confronts the state as an actor. Within the framework of the nation-state, civil so-ciety is an actor that needs to be suppressed, whereas in the democratic state of the global era of order their society is an inevitable counterculture.


Globalization refers to the spread of global capitalism as well as to an array of policies (liberalization, deregulation, and privatization) that facilitate this spread (Falk 2005: 136). It is the intensification of world-class social relations that connect distant settlements to each other in ways in which local formations are shaped by miles away or vice versa (Giddens 1994: 62). Interpretation of this definition is time-space compression or the stretching of social relations, that is to say, the notion that people's lives are increasingly influenced by events that take place far away. An important element of this definition is the way in which changes in technology, especially the increasing air travel and new forms of information and communication technologies, have led to the contraction of distance.

Globalization also refers to the emergence of common global consciousness. By global, some authors mean not just transformed concepts of time and space but the new social meanings that these have involved (Kaldor 2005: 111). Therefore, this common perception, consciousness, and awareness of the totality of human social relations on a global scale led to society having a constitutive ability. This ability of the society helps to create good enough collective memory on the local, national and global levels.

Grinin explains that technology and trade entangle the world with new network connections and make national boundaries transparent. Such a situation combined with other factors harshly complicates the conditions external to the society. And, as a result, globalization strongly reduces and changes the scope of national sovereignty and undermines the position of a state as that the principal subject of international affairs. Thus, changes in production forces in this or that way lead to changes in all other spheres of life including also the political one (Grinin 2009: 4).

According to Wallerstein, globalization will not end the sovereignty of the nation-state, and state hegemony will continue to be the mainstay of stable world order. There can be no global governance or a United Nations system without the sovereignty of states (Wallerstein 2006: 31). In parallel with this view, Hobsbawm explains the view of globalization by claiming that the political unit where liberal democracies can find application is normally a nation-state (Hobsbawm 2007: 100–102). However, the point of discussion is not that the nation-state will disappear, but that the features of the nation-state should transform into the features of a democratic state, which depends on the consensus of governments and society.

Now, although Wallerstein and Hobsbawm hope that states will transform from nation-states into democratic ones in the global age, we have been living for more than thirty years of the twenty-first century in all characteristics of the structure of the nation-state. The characters of nation-states definitely reflect an anachronistic character of the current situation. Like thousands of organizations today, the United Nations is an anachronistic organization, too. Unless the UN and all other organizations like states, institutions, etc. established their structures in parallel with the global characters of the era they cannot get rid of being an anachronistic organization. The reason for this is that the world cannot transform from a nation-state mentality to a mentality of a democratic state. To do this, transformation needs global, national, and local structural change. Also, social movement should be in every area. I think this question has two basic backgrounds. These are (1) loyalty of nation-states to their national interests and (2) American hegemony.

The Loyalty of Nation-States to Their National Interests

The world has failed to use a tremendous transformation opportunity in 1991. That opportunity was caught in time when a multi-nations coalition was established against Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Additionally, on November 29, 1990, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 678 (UN Resolution, 1990) which approved military action measures against Iraq and Saddam Hussein for the invasion of Kuwait on the 2nd of August 1990 (Oran 1996: 44).

Launched on January 16, 1991, the operation Desert Storm unveiled to the world a dazzling display of modern, high-technology military power. It continued with a ground operation on 22 February and Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait.

The victory of the US-led coalition under the aegis of the United Nations in the Persian Gulf War seemed to hail the triumph of Woodrow Wilson's dream of collective security in which peace would be maintained and aggression repelled by international collaboration (Herring 2011: 916). However, extreme sanctions were applied against the Iraqi people for ten years. This strategy has created enormous tension among the Arab people and brought the emergence of terrorist organizations. The result was the attack of Al Quade on the Twin Towers on 9/11 2001.

These terrorist attacks made it clear that even superpowers are vulnerable. Policies based on the concept of ‘The New American Century’ and the international fight against terrorism in the post-9/11 era were launched on October 7, 2001, with the operation Enduring Freedom. The operation was against Afghanistan and followed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1368.

In 2003, after the Afghanistan War, President Bush launched ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ with Britain in alliance with Italy, Spain, and twenty-four other countries against an ‘Axis of Evil’ country – Iraq. The war was launched on the pretext that Hussain co-operated with Al-Qaeda as well as kept weapons of mass destruction in the country (Oran 2018: 246). Undoubtedly, the US's only motive for such an aggressive strategy was to pursue legitimate national interests. This was the main problem for the world.

It would have become an excellent chance to build a new global order if the USA had applied no sanctions against Hussain's Iraq after the Gulf War. Unfortunately, the US administration chose to fight by asserting its national interests. The concept of national interest, which roots to Cardinal Richelieu's activity in the 1620s and which was reinforced by Lord Palmerstone in the 1850s has not changed for America, too. As a result, at the end of the 20th century, the USA intended to bring democracy to the non-democratic states and become the world hegemon again.

The American Hegemony

Hegemony is a controversial phenomenon in the life of states and peoples in all historical periods. In this controversial phenomenon, Antonio Gramsci's views gained importance over time with the concepts of structure, superstructure, ideology, and historical block to understand the world order. Gramsci's explanation of the structure and the superstructure, in particular, shows the source of the concepts of hegemony and civil society as well as the form of the state (Gramsci 1988: 192–93).

After the Second World War, the United States established a new order with the production power of science and technology, economic superiority, and great confidence. The USA created this new order by establishing economic, military, and political institutions related to each other. This contributed to superiority in other respects to establish the hegemony of the United States with the forced consent of other states. This was also in line with Gramsci's understanding of hegemony.

Cox uses similar concepts when analyzing Gramsci. He argues that hegemony is made by the relationships between structure and superstructure. According to Cox, hegemony shows an ideological superiority with intellectual capacity and power combined (Cox 1999: 224).

Ernesto Laclau explains hegemony in a different way, by establishing a relationship between the bourgeoisie and the working class. Laclau examines the steps that lead to the emergence of the concept of hegemony. The very degree of maturity of bourgeois civilization reflected its structural order within the working class subverting the working-class unity (Laclau and Mauffe 1985: 490).

Earlier in the present paper, I argued that the United States again became the hegemon of the world after the Second World War. This is true. Ikenberry noted that there were two major developments after World War II: the emergence of an open world economy and the hegemonic world order established by the United States (Ikenberry 2008: 41). This global transformation was manifested both in the market and in the geopolitical field. In fact, in the 1850s, while the United Kingdom and the United States used military force to settle in the eastern port cities of China and were involved in trade, the USA was able to do this via economic means.

Thus, the United States became the world's new hegemon in terms of historical structure, and this hegemony passed from the British Empire to the USA in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. When the US Navy defeated the Spanish navy in Havana in 1898, it became the unique force in the ocean (Lecklie 1968: 22). On the other hand, the USA applied the protectionist policy against Europe and thus, disrupted the European economy and caused an economic and political crisis in Europe by blocking European trade with South America with the principle of reciprocity with South America (Mattli 1999: 129–132). The process of establishment of hegemony resulted in the First World War. While the United States managed to preserve the hegemonic power since 1945, it seems very difficult to sustain it from now on (Mann 2004: 52).

The world hegemony of the United States continued after the end of the Cold War. After the Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Wars, while increasing the defense budget, the sanctions against the Russian Federation and the trade war against the People's Republic of China show that it is determined to maintain its hegemony in the twenty-first century. However, what is more dangerous is the strategy to contain the People's Republic of China with Australia, India, Japan, and all other US allies. This explains that American hegemony will not serve world peace. That is why civil societies in the United States and the global civil societies in every country became more important for pressing on their governments to save the peace.

The Power of Civil Society in the Global Era

John Keane takes the concept of civil society back to Aristotle. Civil society changed from Cicero's idea of societas civilis to modern natural law and in the late eighteenth century, became an active element as a political concept in Europe. After the 1850s, it became a pluralistic, self-organizing, and independent state-owned civil society (Keane 1993: 5–17). Today's civil society is usually referred to as the realm of autonomous group action distinct from both corporate power and the state. The concept has been presented by those who foresee an emancipatory role for civil society. Thus, there is a marked distinction between the meaning of ‘civil society in the works of the eighteenth and nineteenth-century theorists and the way that term is commonly understood today (Keane 2009: 2). In order to fully understand civil society, it must be considered together with the development of human rights. This will be a valid way to understand the importance and power of civil society.

Cox suggests that at the beginning of the twenty-first century there were three configurations of power. The first is what is often now called the ‘American empire’, or more often now simply ‘Empire’ (Cox 2004: 308). The second configuration is the persistence of the Westphalian inter-state system that was introduced in Europe in the seventeenth century and spread throughout the world during the period of European dominance. The sovereign state, though weakened, remains a hardy structure. The third configuration is what is often called ‘civil society’ or sometimes the ‘social movement’. This exists both within states and transnationally. Modern information technologies in the form of the Internet and the cell phone have helped it to develop and to mobilize for action (Ibid.: 309–310).

Global civil society is formed as a dialectical result of the oppression practiced by the nation-state on society. The democratization process in the democratic state is due to its ability to include the opposing civil society. Civil society refers to non-governmental, non-profit collective action that transcends national boundaries, but does not necessarily have a global reach. Civil society is a voluntarily working organization that keeps ahead of the individual's identity, sake for social benefits and without any profit motive (Oran 2018: 79).

In the twenty-first century, the concept of civil society is understood not to include either governmental or the profit-making aspect of social interaction, but the role of civility implicit in the original term remains significant. However, in his masterpiece NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society, Thomas Davies explains hundreds of international NGOs established for hundreds of years with their functions. It is controversial to consider all of them as civil society, as there is no categorization despite providing enormous information on organizations (Davies 2013: 2–67).

It is true that this idea makes the concept more complex. This complexity induces many and very broad meanings to civil society. Non-governmental organizations are misunderstood as well. Of course, non-government organizations (NGOs) are very effective organizations. However, since many of them are associated with either government or business they do not match an ideal type of a civil society which I am deeply interested in and care about in this article. I mean that every non-governmental organization is not an ideal type of civil society. Therefore, my approach to non-governmental organizations is very cautious. Unfortunately, we see that many applications of these types of non-government organizations somehow keep their relations with governments and companies. Non-governmental organizations may need financing to carry out some of their activities and may obtain the source from governments or companies. However, it should also be considered that this will bring dependency on the government or institutions from which it is sourced.

However, the vital feature of civil society is that it is democratic. No civil society should have any connection with non-democratic or even democratic governments because civil society is a democratic organization that is completely free from the government. Civil societies criticize the practices of the state. This is a radical approach to civil society. But civil society cannot exist unless it is radical. Moreover, they become weak supporters of democratic, undemocratic, and even autocratic governments. Such non-governmental organizations must serve the purposes of governments or businesses. Indeed, Shaw also claims that ‘civil society has always been seen symbiotically linked to the state’ (Shaw 1994: 23). That is why I may speak about and assert the ideal civil society.

Every state has several foundations, associations, labor organizations, and other professional organizations. They are all established with the permission of the government and naturally depend on their governments. However, when they become over-critical of their government's decisions or acts and when they go out to the street against the government, they can be considered a political society and not a civil society anymore.

Civil society has some basic and non-negligible characteristics. Civil society is never constituted as a government bureaucracy, a party, a company, a criminal organization, or a guerrilla group. A civil society, a non-governmental organization, is defined as an independent voluntary association of people acting together on a continuous basis, for some common purpose, other than achieving government office, making money, or illegal activities (Willetts 2011). Fukuyama defined civil society as the realm of spontaneously created social structure separate from the state that underlies democratic political institutions (Fukuyama 1995: 8).

Clearly, a non-governmental organization must be independent of the direct or indirect control of any government. A non-government organization will not be constituted as a political party; it will be non-profitmaking and it will not be a criminal group, in particular, it will be non-violent. Additionally, any civil society never has any financial relations with any government and business and the relationship in its structure is not hierarchical but horizontal. That is because civil societies are the vital power of democratic states when democratic states intimately accept civil society's presence.

Civil societies criticize governments and fight against their unacceptable decisions. This is intrinsic to civil society. Civil society is not an organization that a non-democratic state can accept. Civil society is now a political society that opposes to hegemon and its acts nationally or globally in a certain place and time. As to professional associations and state-depended civil organizations, their activities can be limited by the government since professional organizations of this type have to get permission from the government to be established. Therefore, authoritarian governments can also put bounds on professional associations' activities.

The Importance of the United Nations

When founded in 1945, the United Nations was considered an important international organization. The objectives in the preamble section were excellent. Undoubtedly, the United Nations has achieved some success, especially in peacekeeping operations, human rights, and humanitarian aid. Tens of sub-organizations that were established continued selfless activities in their fields. However, despite all well-intentioned initiatives, from 1945 to 2020 the United Nations has not fully achieved any of its objectives set out in the preamble chapter. Unfortunately, the UN totally failed in the Rwanda genocide (Janes 2007) and Gulf War, and many other regional conflicts. Among many reasons for this, I define the following main reasons:

1. The United Nations is too late to change its structure to fit the changing era although there have been made several attempts at such transformations.

2. Nation-states, which are members of the United Nations, have also failed to change their structures to fit the new era.

3. The principle of immunity and non-involvement of nation-states seems to be the main problem.

4. Organizationally, the UN covers the only material power of the member-states, while the civil society of the member states was not represented in this organization.

5. The UN did not have stable and guaranteed economic power to solve problems.

6. The UN does not have a military power of its own (unlike NATO which involves all its member-states' forces).

7. In addition to these deficiencies and failures and also under the hegemony and guardianship of its five permanent members, the UN was able to give very little of what was expected.

8. Corruption in the UN sub-organizations has become another problem for years.

9. The decision-making process is slow and the implementation power of the decision taken is very weak.

Because of the above-mentioned inefficiencies, the UN became a benevolent charity organization.

Undoubtedly, solving these problems involves significant difficulties. The incompatibility between theory and practice is at the top of this challenge. In theory, it would be analytically clear to adopt a relatively narrow and rigorous definition, like the following: reform is the purposeful act of modifying the structure, composition, decision-making procedures, working methods, funding, or staffing of an institution in order to enhance its efficiency and/or effectiveness in advancing its core goals and principles (Luck 2003: 4). The application is, of course, much more difficult than the theory. This is the problem anyway. However, in addition to these inadequacies, the United Nations has also been subjected to harsh criticism from the US President Donald Trump. Trump, along with the United Nations, which he threatened to cut funds, also withdrew from the World Health Organization, causing a political and financial negative reaction.

It is clear that these problems cannot be solved unless two factors are realized. One is the renewal of structures and style of management of institutions, especially the United Nations, in accordance with global understanding, and the second is the harmonization of the nation-state concept of national interest with global interests. Unless this basic initiative is carried out, we will no longer be able to struggle with the global threat that lies ahead. Therefore, the questions that must be asked and answered here will be: Who decides? Who pays? Who implements? How can this process be managed?

The focus of the recommendations to date has been the re-determination of permanent members of the Security Council as everyone claimed. However, that is not the problem. The problem is that the will for change is not adopted by the Secretary-General and the five permanent members up now. If they decide, this change will start.

Global structures should be renewed not only in the United Nations organization but also in all national and international institutions and educational systems of all states. Thus, the United Peoples (I claim that after its transformation, the title of the United Nation will probably become the United Peoples) will be supported by a large social and economic society with a global understanding. If we still hope that the twenty-first century has a chance to be a peaceful era we have to realize structural changes in all institutions. We still have a chance to do this although we have lost a quarter of a century already.

We have to renew all structures of every institution to withstand the global problems and integrated threat. Civil society is an important factor that triggers governments and the business world to adapt their institutions to the global mind. So, the main concern of the global civil society in 2020 and beyond is the integrated threat which is the unique and the most important concept for the world. The global problems (such as starvation, illiteracy, climate change, corruption, and terrorism) are never seen separately thinking that they are unique because separation of threats needs different organizations. It is hardly ever to coordinate among existing organizations when they are separated. The United Nations has been living this problem since 1945.

The integrated threat is a vital concept that deeply concerns integrated responsibility. The global civil society perspective requires that governments have an integrated responsibility to solve the integrated threat. The United Nations and its member-states should also adopt this perspective and transform their organizational mentality according to this idea. The United Nations may transform itself into a ‘United Peoples’. The nation-states can transform into ‘democratic states’. Earlier in this article, I have explained the difference between a nation-state and a democratic state. That is why when the UN changes to the United Peoples on one hand nation-state also should transform itself into a democratic state. Civil society, national and global, is a society that spontaneously gets together and then scatters. Its area of interest is to control and alert governments to reduce the integrated threat. The action of civil society can range from stimulating actions to street demonstrations. Global civil society is the most important supporter of the United Peoples (UP). Because integrated responsibility belongs to United Peoples and democratic states as much as global civil society. Integrated responsibility is different from the ‘Collective Intentionality’ concept as Ruggie claims (see in Rengger 2000: 83) since the integrated responsibility should be tied with the integrated threat and naturally covers the collective intention. Below I will list many problem areas which threaten our world. I also consider that when we think of them they all cumulatively create a unique concept. That is why I named it an integrated threat. The concept of integrated threat and integrated responsibility are twin concepts for the global era. The concept of integrated threat (Global problems) has been explained below in this frame.

Hunger, poverty, illiteracy, human rights violations, ignoring children and women’s rights, illegal immigration, drought, exhaustion of the water supply, air pollution, pandemic disease, overpopulation, unemployment, drug and human trafficking, ethnic and religious rivalries, over armament, nuclear armament, terrorism, climate change, global warming, plastic garbage, melting of glacier, lack of democracy, autocracy and eradication of nature life, genetically modified organisms, hazardous waste industrial accidents, failed states, warfare, etc.

In addition to my list of threats, many studies have been conducted on the current problems of our world. In this respect, the 2017 report of the World Economic Forum is remarkable. According to this report, the top-ten problems are the following:

1. Climate change/destruction of nature (48.8 %)

2. Large scale conflict/wars (38.9 %)

3. Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8 %)

4. Poverty (29.2 %)

5. Religious conflicts (23.9 %)

6. Government accountability and transparency/corruption (22.7 %)

7. Food and water security (18.2 %)

8. Lack of education (15.9 %)

9. Safety / security / wellbeing (14.1 %)

10. Lack of economic opportunities and employment (12.1 %)

Many of these problems have been known for years. Not all of these problems can be solved by a single country. These integrated issues must be embraced by all countries that accept their responsibility. Having the responsibility and taking initiative at this point is a vital stage. This initiative to solve the integrated threat is a historic responsibility of the UN Secretary-General and permanent members of the Security Council P5 (the USA, FR, PRC, GB, and RF).

The P5 countries that founded the United Nations in 1945 should now take the responsibility of establishing the United Nations in line with the values of the twenty-first century and the global age. P5 should put this responsibility on their agenda. This work or project should be a structural transformation project that takes into account the integrated threat, and integrated responsibilities harmony national interests with global interests, and highlights the features of the second globalization process. In summary, the integrated threat cannot be mitigated or eliminated unless the P5 initiates and finalizes this initiative. To see the real problem correctly and decide to work on it will be the critical step.

After the new structural transformation is made by the United Nations, all existing structures should be transformed according to these features and the states should adopt the democratic state characteristics. Therefore, in Table 3, I developed the third wave of the world as the second globalization in the fourth column, and the democratic situation I mentioned earlier as follows.

Table 3

The Third Wave of the World as the Second Globalization


the 1490s

the 1870s

the 1990s

the 2020s



Industrial Revolution

1. Steam powered

Boat &

2. Railroad

Information Age

1. Multinational Firms

2. Communication Revolution

3. Collapse of the USSR

1. Integrated threat visibility

2. Global recognition of the Integrated Threat


First conquers & Explorers, then the military invasion

1. First missioners, after explorers, then trade firms, last military invasion

1. Cultural & ideological effect
(so everywhere in the country is being affected as economic, politic, and socially)

1. Digitalization

2. Storing individuals' data

3. Artificial intelligence,

4. Robotic applications.


Missioners, ‘We bring the God's religion to you, pagans’

1. White men's burden, Mission
to make them civilized,

2. Whites are superior

1. The highest level of civilization

2. Invisible hand of the market

3. Globalization provides benefits for everyone

1. We will all suffer if we do not take measures globally together,

2. No state can power alone to destroy the integrated threat,

3. Digitalization creates global integration.

4. Global integration prepares global cooperation, global cooperation creates global peace,




1st Phase

2nd Phase

As one can see from Table 4, the driving force of expansion at the second stage of globalization is not a new technology. With a very interesting and different understanding, I consider the awareness of the global integrated threat as the driving force, because this threat has become visible. All technological improvements developed in this period will become the tools to eliminate the integrated threat. Being aware of the integrated threat, taking on integrated responsibilities, and using new technologies will be the method of the triggering force. Because digitalization brings global integration, global integration creates global cooperation, and global cooperation makes global peace possible. The real guide and sustainer of this understanding will be provided by the United Peoples who have transformed their structure according to global values. To summarize: the Security Council, which is the most criticized organ of the United Nations as a structure, will transform the structure it established itself and become a global organization that solves the problems of the next century. The direct effect of this will be the nation-states that will reorganize their national structures and mentalities accordingly and will now structure the democratic state in each process.


In the present article, I argued that for more than thirty years we go through an anachronistic process in the world. This situation prevents the transition of the world from ‘international’ structuring (system, order, and society) to global structuring (system, order, and society). I also discussed that this process consecutively prevented the transition of the structure of the United Nations to the ‘United Peoples’ structuring and the transformation of the structure of the nation-state into a democratic one.

In this case, the United Nations and nation-states have both responsibilities and obligations. While many companies transform their structures according to global structures, the failure of the United Nations and nation-states to transform their structures may lead to greater problems. For this reason, the United Nations need to transform its structure.

The problem will be solved only by the five permanent members of the United Nations. When these five permanent members believe that the United Nations agency needs structural reform, a solution will be initiated and a strategy will be formulated. Undoubtedly, permanent members of the Security Council are delegating this reform project to some suitable groups for their work. Nation-state representatives will also be in these groups.

Of course, this project is a structural change, transition, and transformation project. To put it more clearly, this project is a process in which the nation-state will transfer a part of its sovereignty to other structures while transforming into a democratic state. The transfer of this sovereignty will proceed in two-way, one towards local structures and the other towards regional and global structures. It can be thought of as a contradiction that the nation-state willingly transfers a part of its sovereignty. Undoubtedly, this is a contradiction. However, this is the dilemma of the nation-state today, and it is clear that if it does not do so in the global age, it will face serious problems. Nation-states that grasp this situation will get stronger and others will weaken and face bigger risks.

The role of the United States is a determining factor in this transformation process, in which the United Nations will transform into the United Peoples and the nation-state will transform into a democratic state. Similar to Trump's presidency which failed to establish friendly relations with the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, the US government under the Biden administration is unlikely to achieve this role. I understand that President Joe Biden and his secretary of state Antony Blinken will follow the same approach. The USA officially tries to control the role of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) Project of China. It is a critical project which I assume to be a sort of global project which supports globalization. However, it is also interesting that the USA is fully against it. These are the issues that make it hard to be optimistic in such a situation. For this reason, the transformation process will spread over a much longer time and will occur spontaneously.

As the last word, I must say that it is a difficult process to transfer some part of sovereignty to other structures from the old structure to the new one. However, it is not impossible.


* Hague Conferences Official Report, 1899 and 1907 Volume I and II.


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