chapter  3
14 Pages

States and multinational corporations

When the United Nations (UN) was set up in the final months of the Second World War, its duty to preserve international peace and security was naturally the focus of most attention and the Security Council, dominated by the five permanent members, held centre stage. There is a certain awkwardness in treating the UN welfare network as an institution of the states-system, since its most enthusiastic supporters, the functionalists, have usually seen it as the most effective way of undermining the sovereign state. Gradually a sense of world community develop alongside an expanding network of international functional agencies and the state will become obsolete. Nevertheless, the specialised agencies remain firmly under the policy direction of their member states rather than that of idealistic functionalists, and the idea of an independent international civil service can hardly be said to have taken firm root either.