James Park’s plan for world peace

Canadian-American philosopher James Park has proposed a plan to promote world peace. Central features of his proposal are the establishment of a “world peace force” and a “world court”. The world peace force will replace all national militaries and will be in charge of maintaining global peace. And the world court will prosecute people suspected from crimes against world peace.

Park proposes that the world peace force will disarm all nations and will intervene when nations are violating world peace or in case of genocide. In his vision the world peace force will have about a million employees and will units be stationed in every country. The WPF will also have the power to arrest people who are suspected of crimes against world peace and to bring them before the world court.

The world court is to be a neutral court not associated with any nation and has to authority to decide on matters of “world law” and has the WPF at its disposal to enforce its rulings. Park clearly admits that the WPF will operate its own prisons to detain aggressors.

The prime question is how realistic this plan is. Park suggests a gradual phase out of national militaries and gradual disarmament by the world peace force. The problem is, however, whether countries will cooperate with such scheme.

Let’s forget about the military-industrial complex for a moment. According to the realist school of international relations countries will not disarm unless other countries will do the same. For instance the government of Pakistan has stated that it will give up it nuclear weapons, but only if India dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

So as long as other nations maintain their armed forces, a country will be reluctant to give up its own since it will make itself vulnerable for foreign aggression by doing so. A counter-argument would be that countries who disarm themselves will be protected by the world peace force. And this would solve the “security dilemma” posed by unilateral disarmament.

However this requires that disarmed countries can thrust that the WPF will help them in case of aggression. If countries have no faith in this organization, they will be reluctant to commit to this peace plan.

Even if a large number of nations would agree to disarmament, some rogue nations might still refuse to cooperate and maintain their militaries. The only way to disarm these countries is through intervention by the world peace force. However, it is far from certain that the WPF would be able to defeat such rogue nation.

Also we could ask whether one million employees would be sufficient to carry out its duties. In particular if there are countries who refuse to give up their armed forces and continue to build up their weapon arsenals. Of course the world peace force might employ more people if necessary.

Another issue is the funding of the world peace force and the world court. In Park’s vision these organization will be funded by voluntary donations by peace-loving world citizens. His argument for this is that WPF and the WC should not depend on national whims, i.e. a country should not be able to sabotage the world peace force by revoking its contribution.

Nevertheless it is unclear whether enough fund could be raised by voluntary donations from the public. Since people cannot be denied the benefits of world peace, there is a large potential for free riding. If not enough funding is raised to secure the operation of the PWC, it is usefulness is jeopardized.

My conclusion is that Park’s proposal is inspiring but highly speculative. Honestly, I do not see this happen but it is interesting perspective for a mundane science fiction novel.

See here for Park’s proposal.


6 responses

  1. I think his plan will just be filed somewhere. 😦

    1. On his site for instance (see the link at the bottom) 🙂

      1. He’s filed quite a bit. lol I read he was looking for sermons and read no further.

      2. He’s an unitarian universalist, so he’s okay.

  2. The “world peace force” is perhaps the most essential element here, but he’s being too ambitious to think countries will unilaterally disarm. They won’t. What would happen is they’d shrink the size of their domestic forces.

    1. His plans are very ambitious, I would call it utopian. And even shrinking of domestic forces seems unlikely to me. But you should check out his plans yourself. It’s an interesting idea, but quite idealistic.

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