ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Who Wants to Fix the UN?

What's Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It by Thomas G Weiss (Cambridge: Polity Press),2012; (second edition), pp 292+xx, $19.95.

Alas, Thomas Weiss has written a very good book. “Alas” because he makes clear how badly the United Nations (UN) is broken. “Alas” also because his prescriptions are not very convincing, perhaps even to him. Alas, as well, because the book is an expanded and updated second edition, following a first edition in 2008. It does not seem that the author changed his views. There is no reason he should have. The situation has only gotten worse.

Weiss divides the book into two sections: “Diagnosing the Ills” and “Palliatives If Not Cures”. The latter contains an unfortunate word choice. In my dictionary, a palliative is a medicine that treats symptoms only or alleviates pain. In titling his second section, the author is not fair to himself. The task he has taken on is a serious one and the book succeeds in laying out deep problems at the UN.

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