The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and global justice

Haynes, Jeffrey (2017) The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and global justice. Globalizations, 14 (7). pp. 1125-1139. ISSN 1474-774X


The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) was established in 2005, following Islamist terrorist attacks in the USA, Spain, and the UK. Spain’s initiative was co-sponsored by the government of Turkey. Spain’s key concern was growing polarisation between different ‘civilisational’ groups, separated by religious and cultural differences. In modern international relations, ‘civilisational’ conflicts are sui generis. The UN, founded in 1945, has no tradition or history of dealing with such issues. It is by convention and by design secular in orientation. Consequently, it seemed anomalous to establish UNAOC, an entity created to try to deal with widening civilisational divisions, especially between Muslims and Christians. UNAOC aimed to do this by linking states and civil society, to create a durable and evolving network of international actors to work together to improve civilisational dialogue and reduce conflict. The article addresses two questions: (1) What has UNAOC achieved? and (2) How does UNAOC address issues of global injustice?

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