W. Andy Knight
This chapter examines the UN’s role in promoting and encouraging democracy and good governance. The world organizations is in a pivotal position to help promote and strengthen the global norm that posits that democracy validates the quality of governance today. In order to be considered ‘democratic,’ governments should not only hold periodic free and fair elections and demonstrate the ability to govern inclusively and humanely. In addition, they should also respect human rights and the rule of law. Concurrently, the chapter argues that the UN should practice what it preaches and address its own democratic deficit, even as it helps to strengthen democracy at the national level.
Intergovernmental Organizations and Nongovernmental Organizations: The Development of an International Approach to LGBT Issues
This article traces the origins, evolution, and effects of LGBT advocacy by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in global forums. In particular, the article focuses on LGBT advocacy in intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations. The first section provides a historical overview and traces the rise of LGBT NGOs—as well as the transnational networks linking them—from the interwar period to the present day. In doing so, this section discusses the strategies that such organizations have leveraged to gain clout and highlights how LGBT issues have gained salience and have generated contestation within UN human rights bodies and mechanisms. The second section provides a conceptual overview of how advocates have advanced LGBT issues and discusses how the frames of sexual and reproductive health rights, public health and HIV/AIDS, and, increasingly, LGBT human rights have been leveraged by NGOs to legitimize and to further propel LGBT advocacy. Finally, the third section discusses some of the challenges facing global LGBT advocacy. In particular, this section highlights North–South power inequalities in shaping and driving a global advocacy agenda and the tensions arising from limited emphasis on non-Western notions of sexual and gender diversity. This section concludes with a discussion of new directions in LGBT advocacy, highlighting in particular the increased efforts to combine human rights advocacy with inclusive development policy.
Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore
This chapter examines how prominent theories capture the various ways that the UN affects world politics. Different theories of international relations (IR) cast the UN in distinctive roles, which logically lead scholars to identify distinctive kinds of effects. We identify five roles that the UN might have: as an agent of great powers doing their bidding; as a mechanism for interstate cooperation; as a governor of an international society of states; as a constructor of the social world; and as a legitimation forum. Each role has roots in a well-known theory of international politics. In many, perhaps most, real-world political situations, the UN plays more than one of these roles, but these stylized theoretical arguments about the world body’s influence help discipline our thinking. They force us to be explicit about which effects of the world organization we think are important, what is causing them, and why.