Ideas and concepts are arguably the most important legacy of the UnitedNations. Ahead of the Curve? analyzes the evolution of key ideas and concepts aboutinternational economic and social development born or nurtured, refined or appliedunder UN auspices since 1945. The authors evaluate the policy ideas coming from UNorganizations and scholars in relation to such critical issues as decolonization, sustainable development, structural adjustment, basic needs, human rights, women, world employment, the transition of the Eastern bloc, the role of nongovernmentalorganizations, and global governance.
The authors find that, inmany instances, UN ideas about how to tackle problems of global import were soundand far-sighted, although they often fell on the deaf ears of powerful member statesuntil it was apparent that a different approach was needed. The authors alsoidentify important areas where the UN has not stood constructively at thefore.