Peace and Security

David A. Hamburg, Jane E. Holl and Ruben P. Mendez

in Global Public Goods

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130522
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867363 | DOI:
 Peace and Security

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In the literature of public economics, defense has traditionally been held up as a pure public good in the domestic sphere. But there are problems with this formalistic approach, even more so at the international level. In contrast, peace meets the substantive (i.e., welfare) as well as formal criteria of a public good. The chapter focuses on the political and institutional aspects of peace, and the structures required at the level of the international system. Reviewing the historical record as well as the situation since the end of the Cold War, Mendez contrasts three models of international order: collective security, balance of power and hegemony. He argues that only collective security fully takes into account the public good nature of international peace, and that such a system is the most effective in the long run. International organizations such as the U.N. and regional bodies have key roles to play in such a system.

Keywords: defense; global public goods; international organizations; peace; public goods; security; United Nations

Chapter.  584 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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