A United Nations Renaissance

What the UN Is, and What It Could Be

John Trent and Laura Schnurr

Barbara Budrich Publishers

A United Nations Renaissance

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Pub Date: February 2018

ISBN: 9783847407119

166 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.00

A United Nations Renaissance

What the UN Is, and What It Could Be

John Trent and Laura Schnurr

Barbara Budrich Publishers

This short introduction to the United Nations analyzes the organization as it is today, and how it can be transformed to respond to its critics. Combining essential information about its history and workings with practical proposals of how it can be strengthened, Trent and Schnurr examine what needs to be done, and also how we can actually move toward the required reforms. This book is written for a new generation of change-makers — a generation seeking better institutions that reflect the realities of the twenty-first century and that can act collectively in the interest of all.
A wonderful short book for nonspecialists doing research on the UN. Clear disposition and enlightening questions lead from mere description of the institutions to important proposals for innovations. At the end of the book the nine popular proposals to transform the UN and the four steps for how we can help to bring about workable global institutions are unique in their originality.Klaus von Beyme, emeritus professor of political science, University of Heidelberg; past president, International Political Science Association
A concise, crystal clear, superbly informed explanation of how the United Nations works — and why it matters.Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia
Politicians, pundits, and publics are moving inward and building walls whereas addressing global threats requires moving outward and breaking down barriers. More than ever, multilateralism is essential for problem-solving, and more than ever we need a fitter-for-purpose United Nations. Trent and Schnurr provide a persuasive and user-friendly introduction for a new a new generation of change-makers.Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science, The CUNY Graduate Center, Past President International Studies Association
More than a simple forum or arena for confrontation of opposing interests, the United Nations must become an instrument for world governance. This excellent book, from Trent and Schnurr, goes a long way to push forward this idea.Modesto Seara-Vazquez, Professor of International Organization, and Rector Oaxaca State University System, Mexico
The United Nations remains an essential global institution for advancing the values and practices of cooperation, development, and human rights, but it also needs reform; and especially it needs realistic proposals that give a way forward while still retaining and promoting the ideals of the Charter. This new volume places the UN in historical and contemporary perspective, identifies its critical strengths, challenges, and flaws in a balanced analysis, and suggests clear and constructive arguments and ideas for the changes that are needed.Alistair Edgar, Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University, Executive Director, Academic Council on the United Nations System.
The UN is being put to the test in today's jumbled and fractious global system. There is a foreboding over the growing trend among many member states including three of the permanent members of the Security Council towards anti - internationalist sentiments and the undermining of norms of global cooperation. As the title of this book signals, it is time for a UN Renaissance. This will only happen if there emerges a coalition of key member states, civil society groups, international institutions and good advocacy in the media and from the academic world. This book makes clear why this is such an important cause for our time. And its focus on mobilizing young people to the cause is a worthy recommendation.Lloyd Axworthy, Past President, University of Winnipeg, former Foreign Minister of Canada
Global issues require well- functioning global institutions. The United Nations and it’s agencies are critical global players that are needed more than ever given the increasingly interconnected world. The UN is vital in helping to create and support the right operating environment so that the Red Cross and Red Crescent and other organizations are able to fulfill their humanitarian mandates. Trent and Schnurr have written a concise and readable publication that should be read by young people the world over. It is hoped future generations would be encouraged to join the ranks in helping to rejuvenate an essential institution.George Weber, Secretary-General Emeritus , International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation; CEO Royal Ottawa Hospital

About the Author

John Trent is a fellow of the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa, Canada, formerly professor and chair of the university's department of political science, and was Secretary General of the International Political Science Association for more than a decade.

Laura Schnurr works on social innovation with the J.W. McConnell Foundation, completed an MA in Global Studies at the University of Freiburg, and runs a social enterprise operating in Canada and Uganda.