In This Review

Religion and Humane Global Governance
Religion and Humane Global Governance
By Richard Falk
Palgrave, 2001, 288 pp.

An evocative call for a new global order built around social justice and human fulfillment. Falk wants to shift the debate over global governance from its functional focus, which merely asks how to reform existing institutions, to a values-based approach that seeks to harness the social forces of an emergent global civil society. This vision still acknowledges the central role of states, but it requires an expanded rule of law to protect basic human rights. For this to happen, Falk believes, the post-Enlightenment divide between politics and religion must end. If claims of human rights and social justice are to be truly universal, they must be rooted in not just government-level, Western-dominated ideas but in non-Western religious movements, postcolonial rediscoveries of identity, and transnational social groups. Falk is aware that religious movements and civilizational impulses can divide and fragment as often as they unify. But mutual engagement and respect, he claims, can unearth deeply buried identities that affirm a common humanity.