Associate 1995-96

Edward Kolodziej

Center for Global Studies

The Global Society: The Pursuit of Order, Welfare, and Legitimacy

All societies organized to address fundamental human needs confront three imperatives: order (O), welfare (W), and legitimacy (L). Hitherto, these OWL imperatives were addressed locally and discretely by the diverse peoples of the world, widely separated by space, societal evolution or time, and culture; henceforward, with the emergence of a world society, they must be resolved globally and interdependently.

Professor Kolodziej's proposal argues that the nation-state, global capitalist markets, and democratization, the provisional solutions of the modern age to resolve OWL problems, are necessary but insufficient to ensure a peaceful and prosperous world society for the twenty-first century.

Chapter 1 lays the theoretical basis for this argument: that OWL imperatives are endemic to human political organization and intrinsic to the development of the world society; that these imperatives are principally addressed by the creation of structures of destructive, productive, and integrative power; and that the modern crystallization of these power structures are the nation-state, global capitalist markets, and democratization.

Part Two provides an evidentiary basis for the theoretical argument of Chapter 1, then traces the rise of the nation-state as the preferred solution of the peoples of the world society for order; of capitalist markets for welfare; and of democratization for legitimacy.

Part Three identifies key weaknesses of contemporary solutions to OWL problems. The nation-state remains a war prone system, fosters excessive arms production and proliferation, threatens human rights and civil liberties in many parts of the globe, and inhibits intervention to protect human rights and democratic regimes. Global capitalist markets--their stimulation of economic growth notwithstanding--distribute wealth unequally and inequitably and reach equilibrium below global full employment. Democratization assumes several powerful forms--ethnic, communal, national, racial and tribal, and ideological--that are antithetical to democratic values, including the rule of law, popular rule, and the protection of human rights and civil liberties.

A final chapter argues that neither the presently ascendant Western system nor the peace and prosperity of the larger global society can be assured unless the nation-state, global markets and democratization are enlisted in their own reform.