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Comity

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Comity

Multilateralism in the New Cold War

9781800889347 Edward Elgar Publishing
Frank Vibert, Associate, Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR), Department of Government, London School of Economics, UK
Publication Date: September 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80088 934 7 Extent: c 144 pp
This timely book explores a critical new juncture where globalisation is in retreat and global norms of behaviour are not converging. Frank Vibert provides an expert analysis on how this situation has arisen from a combination of changes in the relative power and position of nations and the different values behind the organisation of domestic government in democracies and authoritarian states.

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This timely book explores a critical new juncture where globalisation is in retreat and global norms of behaviour are not converging. Frank Vibert provides an expert analysis on how this situation has arisen from a combination of changes in the relative power and position of nations and the different values behind the organisation of domestic government in democracies and authoritarian states.

Vibert challenges the assumption that differences in the way countries organise their domestic form of government can be kept separate from rulemaking at the international level. The book examines how democracies can defend their own values relative to others, the methods of influence, and the ways of managing conflict between contending values. Comity maps a path away from impasse to where democracies cooperate to make rules for themselves that can then be extended to others. It also discusses the legitimacy of this form of international rulemaking. Vibert concludes with the need for democracies to address their own democratic backsliding and to refresh their alliances with other democracies.

This book steps back from conventional claims that we are heading towards an ever more globalised world and sets out the importance of norms in shaping institutions, relationships and the techniques of rulemaking. The book will be critical reading for scholars of international relations, constitutional and administrative law regulation and international politics. It will also be useful for practitioners in international organisations, governments and administrative bodies.
Critical Acclaim
‘Comity is a triumph. In elegant, jargon-free prose it outlines a pathway out of an existential problem of our digital age – the increasing difficulty in fully-multilateral bodies to reach agreement on how to manage global problems. Authoritarian governments seek to control information and data and do not need validation from electorates for what they agree to multilaterally, while democratic governments do need to match their multilateral commitments to acceptance by individuals at home. The pathway is “comity” – clubs of “like-minded” countries seeking congruence between the content of their domestic rules and the rules for relations between themselves. Comity spells out downsides of this solution and how they can be mitigated. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of international cooperation.’
– Robert Wade, London School of Economics, UK

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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