More often than not, there’s a certain slippage between the meaning political scientists and other government officials ascribe to concepts, or common terms, and the terms’ colloquial meaning. One can talk about a “nation” in the academic sense — as in, a group of people sharing similar culture but not necessarily a political structure (“Nation of Islam,” “one nation under God”) — but most will readily take your usage of the term, and swap in the colloquial meaning: a nation-state with a unified government (“one federal government under God”).
This can lead to confusion, and in more extreme cases, paranoia. For proof, we turn to a recent “negotiating text” prepared by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will, in one form or another, form the background for a treaty to combat global warming. Egged on by a British veteran of the Thatcher years, American conspiracy theorists are utterly appalled by the treaty’s negotiating text (PDF here), which seems to advocate for the creation of an international “government,” to administer the treaty:
38. The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and the basic organization of which will include the following:
(a) The government will be ruled by the [Conference of Parties] with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies. The current Convention secretariat will operate as such, as appropriate.
Except, of course, it doesn’t. As Salon rightly indicates, the term “government” has many meanings. It does not necessarily imply the creation of a state actor, and here, it’s plain that it does not. The irreducible minimum of a true “government” — the kind of “one world government” that the right purports to fear — is the ability to promulgate commands, and see them enforced. Regardless of linguistic niceties, any such enforcement mechanism is plainly lacking from a treaty that speaks in terms of technology sharing, goal planning, and coordinated (but non-specified) action. The watchword, for those concerned about these straw man scenarios, is sovereignty, not government, to which the treaty openly defers (Annex I, ¶ 14(c)):
[Be [undertaken within a nationally coordinated approach] [consistent with] [integrated] [inserted] [into] local, [subnational], national [and regional] [development objectives], [programmes] [plans] [and policies] [and coordinated with regional programmes without compromising the countries’ sovereignty];]
Besides, absent any open surrender of sovereignty, ratified by the President with the “advice and consent” of the Senate (U.S. Const., Art. II, § 2, cl. 2), any supernational “government” will, by necessity, lack the power to act in the United States without the express ratification of our elected officials. In other words, if world government comes, it won’t come through veiled language in the negotiating text of an obtuse treaty.