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World Governance Cookery Book

Food-related insights from home cooking to haute cuisine (Part #1)


Introduction
Styles and preferences in place
Styles and preferences in time
Diets and taboos
Health and food
Taste and food
Styles of food delivery and consumption
Ethics and food preparation
Participation in food consumption

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Introduction

There is much anguished concern about world governance. There are many meetings on the matter, many studies by the eminent and others, and many research centres devoted to the topic. It is also quite clear that the capacity to govern according to the principles, which many have struggled decades to elaborate, is being rapidly eroded -- most recently as result of terrorism and especially in response to it. Many of the bodies in which hope might have been placed in engendering and ensuring meaningful world governance have themselves proven to be significantly inadequate -- if not fundamentally flawed.

Democratic processes are widely abused, even in the countries held to be models of democracy: funding of political parties by vested intrerests, cash-for-questions in parliamentary bodies, flawed elections, indicted presidents, ministerial 'sleaze', unrepresentative decision-making, flawed public consultations, voter apathy, lack of transparency, reliance on spin, bribery, corruption, etc. It is no longer irrelevant to ask what proportion of the peoples' representatives -- even in intergovernmental assemblies -- have a criminal record of some kind (or are employed by those that have). It is therefore completely unclear how processes that are so inadequate on the national scale can be replicated on the world scale with any hope of compensating for such defects. And yet there is an increasing urgency in order to respond to crises on a global scale.

Where to look for inspiration? Think-tanks specializing in such matters have failed to generate proposals that engage public awareness or address public concerns. They focus instead on replicating national democratic processes -- suitably adjusted to a world scale -- without addressing the obvious flaws in principle and often minimizing the significance of such flaws in practice.

It must be seriously asked whether the understanding of strategy, planning and management, primarily developed for the closed systems (with a single leader) of corporations, public administrations and the military, can be expected to be work effectively with open systems like societies, communities or ecosystems (with multiple 'leaders'). Efforts to ensure 'consensus', 'harmonization' or 'rationalization' within such open systems could then be viewed as a desperate effort to adapt a complex social reality to the simplicity of the tools available. Such adaptation is supported by preference for implementing technologically complex, high-budget, closed system solutions to social problems (eg dams, highways, building complexes, etc) rather than low-tech, low-budget solutions adapted to open systems (eg Grameem bank, etc).

This paper explores one way of presenting the challenge of world governance that is meaningful to most people of the world -- both women and men. The question it raises is whether the skills and processes associated with cookery hold insights which might help to frame the challenge of world governance in new ways. Any focus on food and its preparation could well be considered a healthy way of grounding discussion about governance that often fails to recognize the basic needs of the governed.

ng discussion about governance that often fails to recognize the basic needs of the governed.


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