Living with the UN

Living with the UN

American Responsibilities and International Order

Author: Kenneth Anderson
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1344-1
Publication Date: 4/17/2012
Pages: 312

US-UN relations—which way will this always tenuous relationship go?

What exactly is the United Nations? For that matter, why is there still a United Nations at all? In Living with the U.N., international legal scholar Kenneth Anderson analyzes US-UN relations in each major aspect of the United Nations' work—security, human rights and universal values, and development—and addresses the crucial question of whether, when, and how the United States should engage or not engage with the United Nations in its many different organs and activities. He looks at each UN organ and function and suggests the form of engagement that the United States should take toward it, giving workable, pragmatic meaning to "multilateral engagement" across the full range of the United Nations' work.

Cutting through the "alphabet soup" of UN agencies, as well as the utopian idealism that, however noble, often clouds analyses of the United Nations, the book offers principles for a permanent relationship based on ideals and interests between the United States and the United Nations—and provides guidance for long-term US policy that runs far beyond the Obama administration's tenure. Ultimately, Living with the U.N. offers a vision of a better, but also more modest, United Nations—a vision unlikely to be realized but well worth presenting.

Kenneth Anderson is a professor of international law at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he is also a member of the Hoover Task Force on National Security and Law.


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Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is a professor of international law at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in international law. Formerly general counsel to the Open Society Institute and director of the Human Rights Watch Arms Division, Anderson has written Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order (2012), and a new book with Benjamin Wittes, Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration’s Addresses on National Security Law (2013), both published by the Hoover Institution Press. Anderson blogs at the law professor websites Volokh Conspiracy and Opinio Juris, and is the book review editor of the national security law website Lawfare.

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