The evolution of international administration in theory and practice mirrors the pattern of development of international organizations and the institutionalization of governance for the international system, which can be divided into three time periods: 1815–1945, which marks the initial organization and bureaucratization of the international system; 1945–91, the period of rapid growth of international organizations and reconstitution of the international system that had been destroyed by World War II; and, 1991–present, which represents the end of the Cold War and a transformational moment for the international system as globalization and the technological revolution challenge the structure and function of international governance system. The bureaucratization of the international system is due to the effectiveness of this type of organization for administration and government on the national level. However, the structure and function of international administration is different from national administration. The bureaucracies of today's international organizations reflect both the changes in the environment in which they observe and the nature of the issue areas they are tasked to manage. Meanwhile, the creation of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 marked the transition from the first stage to the second in the development of international organizations and the system of governance for a new international order. Finally, the end of the Cold War and the dramatic changes in the world's political, economic, and social landscape brought about by globalization revived interest in international organizations, and the role that they would play in the "new" world order.
In the field of international studies, multilateralism is a kind of alliance where multiple countries progress any given goal. Multilateralism can be defined as global governance of the many, and its chief principle is the opposition of bilateral discriminatory arrangements that are believed to enhance the leverage of the powerful over the weak and to increase international conflict. Multilateralism serves to bind the great powers, discourage unilateralism, and give the small powers a voice and voting opportunities that they would not otherwise have. As such, power disparities are accommodated to the weaker states by having more predictable bigger states and means to achieve control through collective action. Powerful states also buy into multilateral diplomatic agreements by writing the rules and having privileges such as veto power and special status. Multilateral diplomacy is the management of international relations by negotiations among three or more states through diplomatic or governmental representatives. Ideally, for multilateral diplomacy to be of any effect there needs to be one rule for all and everyone would need to work together. Consensus is to be reached by debates, discussions, and compromises but, ultimately, there would be a democratic vote—majority vote is applied, which means no state is undermined.
The return to public assemblies and direct democratic methods in the wave of the global "squares movements" since 2011 has rejuvenated interest in forms of council organisation and action. The European council movements, which developed in the immediate post-First World Warera, were the most impressive of a number of attempts to develop workers' councils throughout the twentieth century. However, in spite of the recent challenges to liberal democracy, the question of council democracy has so far been neglected within democratic theory. This book seeks to interrogate contemporary democratic institutions from the perspective of the resources that can be drawn from a revival and re-evaluation of the forgotten ideal of council democracy.This collection brings together democratic theorists, socialists and labour historians on the question of the relevance of council democracy for contemporary democratic practices. Historical reflection on the councils opens our political imagination to an expanded scope of the possibilities for political transformation by drawing from debates and events at an important historical juncture before the dominance of current forms of liberal democracy. It offers a critical perspective on the limits of current democratic regimes for enabling widespread political participation and holding elites accountable. This timely read provides students and scholars with innovative analyses of the councils on the 100th anniversary of their development. It offers new analytic frameworks for conceptualising the relationship between politics and the economy and contributes to emerging debates within political theory on workplace, economic and council democracy.