In This Review

Pax Democratica: A Strategy for the 21st Century
Pax Democratica: A Strategy for the 21st Century
By James Robert Huntley
St. Martin's Press, 1998, 243 pp

This important book, dedicated to the memory of Clarence Streit and Jean Monnet, makes an impressive case for the construction of "an Intercontinental Community of Democracies." The world's leading democracies, in Huntley's view, share vital common interests, and they must find more effective ways to advance those interests together. Though the author is refreshingly undogmatic about the form these institutions should take, he does set forth in considerable detail a set of innovative proposals by which existing structures like NATO might be re-configured and new ones created. While some of Huntley's ideas, such as a Caucus of the Democracies at the United Nations, seem quite realizable, others, such as a Parliamentary Assembly of the Democracies, are well in advance of anything around which a political consensus could form. There are, in addition, abiding questions of overextension and excessive centralization (or loss of sovereignty) that must be considered with great care. The author, nevertheless, has performed a valuable service in setting forth an agenda of discussion and in reminding Americans of the stake they have in the preservation of the community of liberal democracies.