for "competitiveness" in the world market. The state has been commandeered into the role of promoting these market priorities, thereby eroding its welfare function. But the point remains, the local and global litmus test of humane governance is the treatment accorded to those most vulnerable.
Such a test also applies interregionally. The litmus test of globalism is its approach to the least advantaged region, that is, sub-Saharan Africa. As long as the competitive geopolitics of the Cold War persisted, Africa counted; it received aid and attention. With the shift to market criteria of value, Africa and Africans have come to be seen as either irrelevant or as a millstone. Geogovernance so structured has led to inhumane governance.
The struggle to achieve humane governance encounters democratic obstacles even in states that have not been traumatized by long periods of brutal authoritarian rule. In response to violent and frightening crime, the citizenry of countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom increasingly and overwhelmingly support capital punishment. Such sentiments are morally regressive, and are correlated with an approach that stresses more and better armed police and bigger, harsher prisons as the best response to the civil challenge posed by criminality. This interplay between crime and terrorism on one side and repressive law enforcement and counterterrorism on the other side manifests inhumane governance at its worst.
The Claims of World Government and the Project of Humane Governance
A final preliminary issue concerns the relevance of world government. Some continue to believe that the only practicable form of humane governance requires the establishment of world government, either through radical reforms of the United Nations or as a result of a global constitutional convention." But the feasibility of something on this order under current global conditions seems highly dubious. There are no requisite political foundations that could support either a negotiated process or lead to an imposed governmental order of global scope.
The most likely scenario by which world government would find its way on to the political agenda is through pressure brought by global market forces for a greater degree of political institutionalization. to complete the work of building a viable world economy of optimum efficiency. In this regard, there are certain instructive analogies from
European regional experience, especially the emergence of capitaldriven advocacy of Eurofederalism. If geogovernance moves toward a heavy, coordinated network of governmental institutions, including the centralization of control over war-making and police functions, then world government could come about, but not in a form that would qualify as "humane governance" by the criteria affirmed here.
A slightly more positive scenario that generated a mode of geogovernance that might properly be called "a world government" could result from a convergence of market influences and populist demands. If grassroots concerns about environmental harms deepen and the chaotic conditions of interethnic strife of the 1990s persist and spread, then the revisioning of world government as a project of transnational democracy is quite likely. In such a setting, the political conditions might then exist for the realistic promotion of world government in a form that would qualify as humane governance.
In all of this speculation, there is an important semantic question: on what basis do we properly attach the label of world government? The position taken here is that world government presupposes at least the following features: compulsory peaceful settlement of all disputes by third-party decision in accordance with law; general and complete disarmament at the state and regional levels; a global legislative capacity backed up by enforcement capabilities; and some form of centralized leadership. As such, world government is not necessarily responsive (or unresponsive) to democratizing ideas about consent, participation, accountability.
Adherents of humane governance should not be dogmatically pposed to world government. Nevertheless, skepticism is in order. The only elites that are likely to contemplate world government favorably in the forseeable future are those that currently seem responsible for the most acute forms of human suffering. The abstractions of world government, even if phrased with a sensitive awareness of the plight of the poor and vulnerable, are not likely to produce beneficial results unless tied to a democratic political movement that includes the establishment of world government as an integral goal.
Of course, there are many intermediate stages of institutionalization that seem to be on the path to humane governance but do not seem to add up to world government. These include the strengthening of international law in relation to the foreign policy of major states, the extension of international law to the activities of the global marketplace, th xpansion of the authority of the World Court, the establishment of peace forces under UN command, and many others, some of which will be discussed in chapter 7. Finally, the view being affirmed here is that