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Contributor(s): Professor David Held

Released on 1 April 2009

Global institutions such as the United Nations risk fragmenting unless they become more democratic and share greater power with developing nations, warns a LSE political scientist Professor David Held. Professor David Held points out that the world today is very different to the post-war era that gave birth to the United Nations in 1945. 'The world has changed dramatically. Power has diffused across the world' he says. 'We have seen the rise of Asia and China and the rapidly developing BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and these are only partially, if at all, represented in many of our global institutions.' In this video, Professor Held claims that, given this transformed world, institutions such as the UN and bodies such as the IMF are flawed in two crucial ways: 'Firstly, many have a system of representation that is anachronistic and too skewed to the old western powers that have had their own way for a long time. Their other flaw is that they depend for their finance on the good will of the powerful countries.

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