Two decades ago, I sat down to write an essay conceived as an answer to the following question: “Given that railways, steamships and the telegraph had made large-scale national democratic federations practical, what new political form would satellite communications, jet aircraft and bulk container ships enable?” In the essay, I looked at the fascinating web of connections that had been formed by international special-purpose intergovernmental organisations. Although the United Nations and its related global arms had received most of the attention since its formation, and ambitious regional ventures like the European Union and its imitators took up most of the…
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