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The democratization of the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is unique among the contemporary international organizations. First of all, it is the only organization established for general political purposes and with almost universal membership.


At the same time, it has been put at the centre of a decentralized system of functional institutions, i.e. specialized agencies, programmes and other organizations, which has developed incrementally and through which it should guarantee world the public goods, including peace, economic and social development, human rights and environmental protection.


It is precisely by virtue of its unique competences and membership, but also because of its structural limitations, that the UN has been, perhaps more than any other organization, the subject of debates and campaigns concerning its supranational and democratic reform, since its inception.


In an ad hoc chapter published in the First International Democracy Report (Routledge, 2014), Giovanni Finizio analyses the history, the governance structure and the main structural limitations of the UN, in light of the indicators on international democracy developed by the Report.


The chapter on the United Nations contained in the First International Democracy Report can be read here.

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