Communitarianism is an intriguing social theory that states community and the social bonds of family, traditional values, and education are the main building blocks of a new supranational global order. One of its strongest proponents, Amitai Etzioni, posits that the "transnational threats facing humankind today are so overwhelming that soon all nations will experience a convergence of values and priorities, which will lay the groundwork for eventual global governance. " The eight articles presented by the August 2005 issue of American Behavioral Scientist offer a fascinating and spirited dialogue regarding the concurrences and contradictions of communitarianism within the context of international relations. They tackle a range of topics first addressed in Etzioni's treatise From Empire to Community: A New Approach to International Relations, including:
- Evaluating the European Union as a test case for communitarianism (Goldgeier)
- How communitarianism predicts that U.S. hegemony will be transcended and how this fits in with the U.S.', particularly the Bush administration's, grand strategy (Hentz)
- Does Etizioni's nationalistic approach to U.S. foreign policy negate communitarianism's ethical problem-solving framework? (Falk)
- Communitarian Realism and the emergence of common norms through coping with global challenges (Gvosdev)
- The four fatal flaws of Communitarianism (Gray)
- Whether sustainable economic or political integration is possible without global social assimilation taking place (Müllerson)
- Etzioni's Response, including a quick summary of the communitarian paradigm (Etzioni)
- A call by Ambassador Max M. Kampelman to bolster international community through the elimination of all nuclear weapons, the establishment of a national voluntary Civilian Conservation Corps for 18-21 year olds, and the creation of a new education incentive along the lines of the Roosevelt G.I. Bill of Rights.
This issue offers a balanced view of a much-disputed theory and belongs in the library of every political scientist , sociologist , and everyone interested in the state of the world around them.