World government is the notion of a single common political authority for all of humanity. Its modern conception is rooted in European history, particularly in the philosophy of ancient Greece, in the political formation of the Roman Empire, and in the subsequent struggle between secular authority, represented by the Holy Roman Emperor, and ecclesiastical authority, represented by the Pope.
As of 2013[update], there is no functioning worldwide military, executive, legislature, judiciary, or constitution with jurisdiction over the entire planet. The United Nations is limited to a mostly advisory role, and its stated purpose is to foster cooperation between existing national governments rather than exert authority over them.
De jure belli ac pacis (On the Law of War and Peace) is a 1625 book in Latin, written by Hugo Grotius and published in Paris, on the legal status of war. It is now regarded as a foundational work in international law. Grotius was born April 10, 1583. He was a philosopher, theologian, playwright, and poet. Grotius is known for coming up with the idea of having an international law, and is still acknowledged today by the American society of International Law. Hugo was the first child of Jan de Groot and Alida van Overschie. He was exiled from many countries, though many people had great respect for him.
Immanuel Kant wrote the essay "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf.) (1795)". In his essay, Kant describes three basic requirements for organizing human affairs to permanently abolish the threat of present and future war, and, thereby, help establish a new era of lasting peace throughout the world. Specifically, Kant described his proposed peace program as containing two steps.
The "Preliminary Articles" described the steps that should be taken immediately, or with all deliberate speed:
Three Definitive Articles would provide not merely a cessation of hostilities, but a foundation on which to build a peace.
In early 19th century Mormon theology, Joseph Smith taught that a theodemocracy would guide and direct the Kingdom of God (Zion) on the earth during the end times. On March 11, 1844, Smith organized a Council of Fifty, who were to work under the direction of the Priesthood authorities of his church, along with a Council of Friends. This group of three organizations was expected to rule as a world government just prior to the Millennium.
In 1811, German philosopher Karl Krause, suggested, in an essay titled "The Archetype of Humanity", the formation of five regional federations: Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia, aggregated under a world republic.
In 1842, the English poet Lord Alfred Tennyson, published the oft-quoted lines "Locksley Hall": For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see / Saw a Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be /... / Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer / and the battle-flags were furled / In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world. / There the common sense of most shall hold / a fretful realm in awe / And the kindly earth shall slumber / lapt in universal law.
In the second half of the 19th century, Bahá'u'lláh founded the Bahá'í Faith, a religion which identified the establishment of world unity and a global commonwealth of nations as a key principle. He envisioned a set of new social structures based on participation and consultation among the world's peoples, including a world legislature, an international court, and an international executive empowered to carry out the decisions of these legislative and judicial bodies. Connected principles of the Bahá'í religion include universal systems of weights and measures, currency unification, and the adoption of a global auxiliary language. In his many scriptures and messages addressed to the most prominent state leaders of his time, Bahá'u'lláh called for world reconciliation, reunification and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Many of the most fundamental Bahá'í writings address the central issue of world unity, such as the following: "The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens". The Bahá'í faith is considered to be the newest world religion and counts in excess of 5 million followers spread across 200 States and territories.
Ulysses S. Grant commented, "I believe at some future day, the nations of the earth will agree on some sort of congress which will take cognizance of international questions of difficulty and whose decisions will be as binding as the decisions of the Supreme Court are upon us".
U.S. President Harry S. Truman commented: "We must make the United Nations continue to work, and to be a going concern, to see that difficulties between nations may be settled just as we settle difficulties between States here in the United States. When Kansas and Colorado fall out over the waters in the Arkansas River, they don't go to war over it; they go to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the matter is settled in a just and honorable way. There is not a difficulty in the whole world that cannot be settled in exactly the same way in a world court". -- President Truman's remarks in Omaha, Nebraska on June 5, 1948, at the dedication of the War Memorial.
Starting in 1843, International Peace Congresses were held in Europe every two years, but lost their momentum after 1853 due to the renewed outbreak of wars in Europe (Crimea) and North America (American Civil War).
International organizations started forming in the late 19th century – the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, the Telegraphic Union in 1865 and the Universal Postal Union in 1874. The increase in international trade at the turn of the 20th century accelerated the formation of international organizations, and, by the start of World War I in 1914, there were approximately 450 of them. Support for the idea of establishing international law grew during that period as well. The Institute of International Law was formed in 1873 by the Belgian Jurist Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, leading to the creation of concrete legal drafts, for example by the Swiss Johaan Bluntschli in 1866. In 1883, James Lorimer published "The Institutes of the Law of Nations" in which he explored the idea of a world government establishing the global rule of law. The first embryonic world parliament, called the Inter-Parliamentary Union, was organized in 1886 by Cremer and Passy, composed of legislators from many countries. In 1904 the Union formally proposed "an international congress which should meet periodically to discuss international questions".
The League of Nations (LoN) was an inter-governmental organization founded as a result of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919–1920. At its largest size from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members. The League's goals included upholding the Rights of Man, such as the rights of non-whites, women, and soldiers; disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation, diplomacy, and improving global quality of life. The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift in thought from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked its own armed force and so depended on the Great Powers to enforce its resolutions and economic sanctions and provide an army, when needed. However, these powers proved reluctant to do so. Lacking many of the key elements necessary to maintain world peace, the League failed to prevent World War II. Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations once he planned to take over Europe. The rest of the Axis powers soon followed him. Having failed its primary goal, the League of Nations fell apart and eventually was transformed into the United Nations. The League of Nations consisted of the Assembly, the Council, and the Permanent Secretariat. Below these were many agencies. The Assembly was where delegates from all member states conferred. Each country was allowed three representatives and one vote.
The ruling Nazi Party of 1933-1945 Germany envisaged the ultimate establishment of a world government under the complete hegemony of the Third Reich. In its move to overthrow the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles Germany had already withdrawn itself from the League of Nations, and it did not intend to join a similar internationalist organization ever again. In his desire and stated political aim of expanding the "living space" (Lebensraum) of the German people by destroying or driving out "lesser-deserving races" in and from other territories dictator Adolf Hitler may have devised an ideological system of self-perpetuating expansionism, in which the expansion of a state's population would require the conquest of more territory which would in turn lead to a further growth in population which would then require even more conquests. In 1927 Rudolf Hess relayed to Walter Hewel Hitler's belief that world peace could only be acquired "when one power, the racially best one, has attained uncontested supremacy". When this control would be achieved, this power could then set up for itself a world police and assure itself "the necessary living space.... The lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly".
The Atlantic Charter was a published statement agreed between the United Kingdom and the United States. It was intended as the blueprint for the postwar world after World War II, and turned out to be the foundation for many of the international agreements that currently shape the world. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the post-war independence of British and French possessions, and much more are derived from the Atlantic Charter. The Atlantic charter was made to show the goals of the allied powers during World War II. It first started with the United States and Great Britain, and later all the allies would follow the charter. Some goals include access to raw materials, reduction of trade restrictions, and freedom from fear and wants. The name, The Atlantic Charter, came from a newspaper that coined the title. However, Winston Churchill would use it, and from then on the Atlantic Charter was the official name. In retaliation, the Axis powers would raise their morale and try to work their way into Great Britain. The Atlantic Charter was a stepping stone into the creation of the United Nations.
World War II (1939–1945) resulted in an unprecedented scale of destruction of lives (over 60 million dead, most of them civilians), and the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Some of the acts committed against civilians during the war were on such a massive scale of savagery, they came to be widely considered as crimes against humanity itself. As the war's conclusion drew near, many shocked voices called for the establishment of institutions able to permanently prevent deadly international conflicts. This led to the founding of the United Nations in 1945, which adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Many, however, felt that the UN, essentially a forum for discussion and coordination between sovereign governments, was insufficiently empowered for the task. A number of prominent persons, such as Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russell and Mohandas K. Gandhi, called on governments to proceed further by taking gradual steps towards forming an effectual federal world government. The United Nations main goal is to work on international law, international security, economic development, human rights, social progress, and eventually world peace. The United Nations replaced the League of Nations in 1945, after World War II. Almost every internationally recognized country is in the U.N.; as it contains 193 member states out of the 196 total nations of the world. The United Nations gather regularly in order to solve big problems throughout the world. There are six official languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, Russian, French, and Chinese. The United Nations is also financed by some of the wealthiest nations. The flag shows the Earth from a map that shows all of the occupied continents.
The years between the conclusion of World War II and 1950, when the Korean War started and the Cold War mindset became dominant in international politics, were the "golden age" of the world federalist movement. Wendell Wilkie's book One World, first published in 1943, sold over 2 million copies. In another, Emery Reves' book The Anatomy of Peace(1945) laid out the arguments for replacing the UN with a federal world government and quickly became the "bible" of world federalists. The grassroots world federalist movement in the US, led by people such as Grenville Clark, Norman Cousins, Alan Cranston and Robert Hutchins, organized itself into increasingly larger structures, finally forming, in 1947, the United World Federalists (later renamed to World Federalist Association, then Citizens for Global Solutions), claiming membership of 47,000 in 1949.
Similar movements concurrently formed in many other countries, leading to the formation, at a 1947 meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, of a global coalition, now called World Federalist Movement. By 1950, the movement claimed 56 member groups in 22 countries, with some 156,000 members.
In France, 1948, Garry Davis began an unauthorized speech calling for a world government from the balcony of the UN General Assembly, until he was dragged away by the guards. Mr. Davis renounced his American citizenship and started a Registry of World Citizens, which claimed to have registered over 750,000 people in less than two years. Opinion polls carried out by UNESCO in 1948-1949 found world government favored by a majority of respondents in six European countries and rejected in three other countries (Australia, Mexico and the United States). On September 4, 1953, Davis announced from the city hall of Ellsworth, Maine the formation of the "World Government of World Citizens" based on 3 "World Laws" - One God (or Absolute Value), One World, and One Humanity. Following this declaration, mandated, he claimed, by Article twenty one, Section three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he formed the United World Service Authority in New York City as the administrative agency of the new government. Its first task was to design and issue a "World Passport" based on Article 13, Section 2 of the UDHR. To date, over 800,000 of these documents have been issued to individuals worldwide. They have been recognized de facto by over 180 countries.
The World Passport is a 45-page document issued by the World Service Authority, a non-profit organization, citing Article 13, Section 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. World Passports have reportedly been accepted on a de facto case-by-case basis by over 174 countries and, at one time or another, on an explicit, legal or de jure basis by Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. The latest edition of the World Passport, issued January 2007, is an MRD (machine readable document) with an alphanumeric code bar enabling computer input plus an embedded "ghost" photo for security, printing overcovered with a plastic film. The passport is in 7 languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Esperanto. Two covers are available: "World Passport", and "World Government Passport" (for registered World Citizens), ("passport" is in 7 languages on both covers). Duration is 8 years, 5 years or 3 years. Other documents issued by WSA are a World Birth Certificate (Art. 1, UDHR), a World Political Asylum Card (Art. 14, UDHR), a World Marriage Certificate, (Art. 16, UDHR) and a World Identity Card, (Art 21,3, UDHR). Each passport is numbered and each page has the World Citizen logo in the background. There are two pages for affiliation with companies, organizations, and firms. There are nineteen visa pages in the passport. In the back cover there are spaces for personal information such as a person’s home address.
Legal anthropologist E. Adamson Hoebel concluded his treatise on broadening the legal realist tradition to include non-Western nations: “Whatever the idealist may desire, force and the threat of force are the ultimate power in the determination of international behavior, as in the law within the nation or tribe. But until force and the threat of force in international relations are brought under social control by the world community, by and for the world society, they remain the instruments of social anarchy and not the sanctions of world law. The creation in clear-cut terms of the corpus of world law cries for the doing. If world law, however, is to be realized at all, there will have to be minimum of general agreement as to the nature of the physical and ideational world and the relation of men in society to it. An important and valuable next step will be found in deep-cutting analysis of the major law systems of the contemporary world in order to lay bare their basic postulates – postulates that are too generally hidden; postulates felt, perhaps, by those who live by them, but so much taken for granted that they are rarely expressed or exposed for examination. When this is done – and it will take the efforts of many keen intellects steeped in the law of at least a dozen lands and also aware of the social nexus of the law – then mankind will be able to see clearly for the first time and clearly where the common consensus of the great living social and law systems lies. Here will be found the common postulates and values upon which the world community can build. At the same time the truly basic points of conflict that will have to be worked upon for resolution will be revealed. Law is inherently purposive".
While enthusiasm for multinational federalism in Europe incrementally led, over the following decades, to the formation of the European Union, the onset of the Cold War (1946–1991) eliminated the prospects of any progress towards federation with a more global scope. The movement quickly shrank in size to a much smaller core of activists, and the world government idea all but disappeared from wide public discourse.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, interest in a federal world government and, more generally, in the global protection of human rights, was renewed. The most visible achievement of the world federalism movement during the 1990s is the Rome Statute of 1998, which led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. In Europe, progress towards forming a federal union of European states gained much momentum, starting in 1952 as a trade deal between the German and French people lead, in 1992, to the Maastricht Treaty that established the name and enlarged the agreement that the European Union (EU) is based upon. The EU expanded (1995, 2004, 2007) to encompass, in 2007, nearly half a billion people in 27 member states. Following the EU's example, the African Union was founded in 2002 and the Union of South American Nations in 2008.
Historically, the Caliphate was established by the followers of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina after his death in 632. Abu Bakr who was the closest associate of the prophet was selected as the first Caliph or Deputy[who?]; hence the term Caliphate. Abu Bakr called himself the prophet's deputy and the leader of Muslims. He and the three Caliphs selected after him shunned any pretensions to royalty but later on ruling dynasties came into existence and ruled until the end of the Ottoman Caliphate that came after its defeat in the First World War along with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire by, inter alia, Britain, France and Russia in 1918. During the intervening centuries, the Islamic Caliphate's authority expanded to encompass regions in Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and northern Africa. These territories were ruled under Islamic law. The Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish National Assembly under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1924.
In the modern era, many Islamic organizations such as Hizb ut Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Al-Shabaab have attempted to re-establish an Islamic state.[not in citation given]
The only union generally recognized as having achieved the status of a supranational union is the European Union.
There are a number of other regional organisations that, while not supranational unions, have adopted or intend to adopt policies that may lead to a similar sort of integration in some respects.
Other organisations that have also discussed greater integration include:
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, one of the 28 member states across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO's "Partnership for Peace", with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world's defence spending.
The most relevant model for the incremental establishment of a global federation may be the European Union (EU), which politically unites a large group of widely diverse (and some formerly hostile) nations spread over a large geographical area and encompassing over 500 million people. Though the EU is still evolving, it already has many attributes of a federal government, such as open internal borders, a directly elected parliament, a court system, an official currency (Euro) and a centralized economic policy.
The EU's example is being followed by the African Union, the Union of South American Nations, the Organization of Central American States, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. A multitude of regional associations, aggregating most nations of the world, are at different stages of development towards a growing extent of economic, and sometimes political, integration. The European Union consists of twenty-seven European states. It has developed a “single market” which allows people of different countries to travel from state to state without a passport. This also includes the same policies when it comes to trading. The European Union is said to have 26% of the world's money. Not all EU member states use the Euro; the United Kingdom, for example, retains the pound sterling. Where the Euro is in place, it allows easy access for the free circulation of trade goods. Tariffs are also the same for each country allowing no unfair practices within the union. With the free movement from country to country, this allows people to travel easily and freely.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), is an organization of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purpose is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared and to coordinate foreign policy. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); and handling regional trade disputes.
Since the establishment of CARICOM by the mainly English Creole-speaking parts of the Caribbean region CARICOM has become multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch speaking Suriname on 4 July 1995 (although the lingua franca in Suriname is Sranan Tongo, which is an English-based Creole like the languages spoken in much of the rest of CARICOM) and Haiti, where French and Haitian Creole are spoken, on 2 July 2002. In 2001, the heads of government signed a Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in Trinidad and Tobago, clearing the way for the transformation of the idea for a Common Market aspect of CARICOM into instead a Caribbean Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty among member states includes the establishment and implementation of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
The African Union (AU) is an organisation consisting of fifty-four African states. Established on July 9, 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the amalgamated African Economic Community (AEC) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Eventually, the AU aims to have a single currency and a single integrated defence force, as well as other institutions of state, including a cabinet for the AU Head of State. The purpose of the union is to help secure Africa's democracy, human rights, and a sustainable economy, especially by bringing an end to intra-African conflict and creating an effective common market.
Projects for improved economic and political cooperation are also happening at a regional level with the Arab Maghreb Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Economic Community of Central African States the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community.
ASEAN (pron.: // AH-see-ahn), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on August 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and insurgency within their own borders. Its claimed aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, and the promotion of regional peace. All members later founded the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which aims to unite the entire continent.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization which was founded on June 14, 2001 by the leaders of the People's Republic of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Except for Uzbekistan, these countries had been members of the Shanghai Five; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is comparable to a confederation similar to the original European Community. Although the CIS has few supranational powers, it is more than a purely symbolic organization, possessing coordinating powers in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on democratization and cross-border crime prevention. As a regional organization, CIS participates in UN peacekeeping forces. Some of the members of the CIS have established the Eurasian Economic Community with the aim of creating a full-fledged common market.
The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab states in Southwest Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. It was formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan after 1946), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on May 5, 1945. The Arab League currently has 22 members, which also include, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and UAE. It has also been proposed to reform the Arab League into an Arab Union. the Arab League currently is the most important organization in the region.
The Union of South American Nations, modeled on the European Union, was founded between 2006 and 2008. It incorporates all the independent states of South America. These states are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in Southern Asia. In terms of population, its sphere of influence is the largest of any regional organization: almost 1.5 billion people, the combined population of its member states. It was established on December 8, 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. In April 2007, at the Association's 14th summit, Afghanistan became its eighth member.
|Organisation of Islamic Cooperation|
|Headquarters||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Membership||57 member states|
|Establishment||September 25, 1969|
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organisation with a permanent delegation to the United Nations. It groups 57 member states, from the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The organization claims it represents the Global Islamic World (ummah). The official languages of the organisation are Arabic, English and French.
Since the 19th century, many Muslims have aspired to uniting the Muslim ummah to serve their common political, economic and social interests. Despite the presence of secularist, nationalist and socialist ideologies in modern Muslim states, they have cooperated to form the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The formation of the OIC happened in the backdrop of the loss of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The final cause sufficiently compelled leaders of Muslim nations to meet in Rabat to establish the OIC on September 25, 1969.[neutrality is disputed]
According to its charter, the OIC aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.
The former flag of the OIC (shown on the right) has an overall green background (symbolic of Islam). In the centre, there is an upward-facing red crescent enveloped in a white disc. On the disc the words "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") are written in Arabic calligraphy.
On August 5, 1990, 45 foreign ministers of the OIC adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam to serve as a guidance for the member states in the matters of human rights in as much as they are compatible with the Sharia, or Quranic Law.
The Turkic Council is an international organization comprising Turkic countries. Since 1992, the Turkic Language Speaking Countries Summit has been organizing amongst the Turkic countries. On October 3, 2009, four of these countries signed the Nahcivan Agreement. The organizational center is İstanbul. Additionally, the Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture was founded in Almaty in 1992 and the Turkic Countries Parliamentarian Assembly was founded in Baku in 1998. All of these organizations were coopted into the Turkic Council. The Turkic Council has an operational style similar to organization like the Arab League. The member countries are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. The remaining two Turkic states, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are not currently official members of the council. However, due to their neutral stance, they participate in international relations and are strongly predicted to be future members of the council. The idea of setting up this cooperative council was first put forward by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev back in 2006.
A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that would allow for participation of member nations' legislators and, eventually, direct election of United Nations (UN) parliament members by citizens worldwide. The idea was raised at the founding of the League of Nations in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945, but remained dormant throughout the Cold War. In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of global trade and the power of world organizations that govern it led to calls for a parliamentary assembly to scrutinize their activity. The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts, which as of February 2009 has received the support of over 600 Members of Parliament from over 90 countries worldwide.
The Earth is divided geographically and demographically into mutually exclusive territories and political structures called states which are independent and sovereign in most cases. There are numerous bodies, institutions, unions, coalitions, agreements and contracts between these units of authority, but, except in cases where a nation is under military occupation by another, all such arrangements depend on the continued consent of the participant nations. Thus the use of violence is unprohibited throughout the realm and is only checked by the threat of retaliatory actions. Where no such threat exists a nation may freely use violence against another.
Among the voluntary organizations and international arrangements are:
In addition to the formal, or semi-formal, international organizations and laws mentioned above, many other mechanisms act to regulate human activities across national borders. In particular, international trade in goods, services and currencies (the "global market") has a tremendous impact on the lives of people in almost all parts of the world, creating deep interdependency amongst nations (see globalization). Trans-national (or multi-national) corporations, some with resources exceeding those available to most governments, govern activities of people on a global scale. The rapid increase in the volume of trans-border digital communications and mass-media distribution (e.g., Internet, satellite television) has allowed information, ideas, and opinions to rapidly spread across the world, creating a complex web of international coordination and influence, mostly outside the control of any formal organizations or laws.
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