chapter  12
International government and the modern state
Pages 16

The interdependence and common purpose of humankind has been a recurrent political theme since at least the end of the eighteenth century, but two world wars and the growing globalisation of the world economy led to increased political pressure in the course of the twentieth century for effective governmental institutions that transcended national boundaries and interests. As has already been explained in Chapter 9, the first steps in this process met with very limited success, both in terms of promoting political stability, and in terms of opening up the world economy and reducing national protectionism. The League of Nations was unable to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War, the most destructive conflict ever seen in terms of loss of life, and a myriad of bilateral national agreements were strangling world trade.