Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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The Internationalist Dream

By Hilary Charlesworth

Kofi Annan speaking at a World Organisation Against Torture meeting in Geneva in 2010. Portrayed in the painting is banker Jean-Gabriel Eynard, Geneva’s ambassador to the Congress of Vienna in 1815.  Image by Pierre Abensur http://tinyurl.com/lj35tr4

Kofi Annan speaking at a World Organisation Against Torture meeting in Geneva in 2010. Portrayed in the painting is banker Jean-Gabriel Eynard, Geneva’s ambassador to the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
Image by Pierre Abensur http://tinyurl.com/lj35tr4

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

Regarding Rights is pleased to publish Hilary Charlesworth’s review of two recent books, Kofi Annan’s memoir (co-written with Nader Mousavizadeh) Interventions: A Life in War and Peace, and Mark Mazower’s Governing the World: The History of an Idea. This review first appeared on Inside Story.

Kofi Annan’s memoir and Mark Mazower’s intellectual history of the international realm complement each other nicely. Annan’s book recounts some of his experiences as a senior official of the United Nations, including nearly a decade as secretary-general from 1997, all linked by the possibilities of international intervention. It is a personal account of events such as NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999, the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2001, East Timor’s path to independence in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The focus is Annan’s own engagement with and reflections on these occurrences. The tone is one of pride and, occasionally, ruefulness. Mazower has a more ambitious and critical agenda: to chronicle the concept of international cooperation from its first appearance in the eighteenth century until today. Continue Reading →