World Governance In Selected Writings By Bertrand Russell: Utopia Or Ideology


This article studies the idea of “World Government” as envisioned in a series of essays published by Bertrand Russell in the period of the Cold War. It draws upon the theoretical categories introduced by Karl Mannheim in Ideology and Utopia (1936) to account for the nature of the reconstruction schemes the author advances to spare human society a possible apocalyptic nuclear confrontation. The study has shown that Russell’s outlook is utopian insofar as it has shown advanced positions regarding self-determination, the dissemination of progress and global cooperation toward the reconstruction of a peaceful and prosperous world. However, given the technological abyss separating the industrialized “West” from “the Rest” in the 1950s, an open “World State” would be another form of imperialism in disguise. The risk involved is that this “global utopia” whose rulers monopolize military, legislative as well as economic power, would turn into an ideological instrument of control in the hands of the technologically powerful few.

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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