Besides these old medieval models of an international organization

Besides these old medieval models of an international organization, one can think of two other institutional responses to the pressures of globalization and the undermining of state sovereignty which appear to be more in line with the previous and current tasks of the United Nations. In a reactive and dissociative way, the United Nations could turn into an “intergovernmental syndicate”: a narrowly defined interest organization of the political- administrative systems. Its main task would then be to defend the common interests of the states and to regain regulatory competence for the states which have slipped away from them. (Gellner, 1983) Although the United Nations has always been there to defend state sovereignty, it had primarily to defend one state against the encroachments of another state. The new focus would be to defend state sovereignty against any encroachments of society (Thomson, 1995). In this case, states would attempt to mobilize “sovereignty” as a normative resource in very much the same way as “quasi-states” have mobilized it in their dealings with the more powerful states and international organizations. The prospects of success of such a strategy remain more than dubious, however.