Nature: Lack in world order leads to conflict, inequalities, injustice, exploitation, unequal distribution and wastage of resources. Treaties and leagues have been concerned with specific problems, but despite this and the number of large intergovernmental organizations, there is little cohesiveness in world events. The threat of a new international anarchy has arisen because anarchy now co-exists with nuclear proliferation. According to the United Nations Secretary General, this new anarchy is an "armed force, both overt and covert, used and increasingly justified as a legitimate means of obtaining national objectives".
Incidence: There were more than 40 non-nuclear conflicts underway in 1984. These conflicts were fought with highly sophisticated conventional weapons which have caused about 20 million deaths in wars since 1945, almost twice as many civilian as military.
Claim: Anarchy in the international system is due to the fact that centralized legislative or judicial organs of the international system have very limited power, and that most nations remain, to some extent, sole judge, prosecutor and jury of their causes.
Counter Claim: Informal organizations may have self-regulative mechanisms and rules of behaviour, maintained by constraint which may stem from the immediate interests of the participants and from their indirect interest in maintaining the system insofar as it meets their needs. In international political systems, violations of the law are always more obvious than the observances and this largely accounts for the belief that the system is in anarchy.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 26.01.2000 – 00:00 CET