The International Community is Dead

by | Apr 3, 2011

Sometimes an argument is simply so powerful that, at one stroke, it slays a hundred years of delusion and misperception.

That is what happened earlier today, on Twitter, when Toby Harnden, the US editor of the Telegraph, finally put to rest the idea that there is, or can be, any  ‘community’ between nations.

Sadly, of course, the vestiges of our failed attempts to construct such a system will have to be dismantled on Monday morning, with the United Nations, World Bank, WTO etc. to be closed by the end of the week, and thousands of parasitic academics on the dole from the end of the semester. That’ll be a drag on the global economy, which fortunately also doesn’t exist.


  • David Steven is a senior fellow at the UN Foundation and at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.

More from Global Dashboard

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

As COVID-19 plunges the world into its most serious economic crisis for a century, a surge in demand for justice is inevitable. Businesses face bankruptcy – and whole industries may be insolvent. Similar pain is being felt in the public and non-profit sectors....

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

The murder of George Floyd and the resurfacing of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to heightened discussions on race in the international development sector. Aid practitioners in the North have not only condemned the systemic racism that they (suddenly) now see...