This book provides a detailed examination of UN World Conferences with respect to the interface between diplomatic method and new forms of global governance. Because of the complex dynamics involved in these large international conferences, it highlights a number of important theoretical debates central to the study of international relations.

The picture that emerges, while not translating into a complete recipe for a shift towards democratic governance, suggests a deepening network of institutions, actors and organizations forming the complex regimes that govern the major arenas of world politics. At a country-specific level, the analysis supports the view that a deep residue of multilateralism still exists in Canada but argues that this tradition faces ongoing challenges from a variety of sources.