UN peacekeeping is a core pillar of the multilateral peace and security architecture and a multi-billion-dollar undertaking reshaping lives around the world. In spite of this, the engagement between the literatures on UN peacekeeping and International Relations theory has been a slow development. This has changed in recent years, and there is now a growing interest tin examining UN peacekeeping from various theoretical perspectives to yield insights about how international relations are changing and developing. The volume is the first comprehensive overview of multiple theoretical perspectives on UN peacekeeping. There are two main uses of this volume. First, this volume provides the reader with insights into different theoretical lenses and how they can be applied practically to understanding UN peacekeeping better. Second, through case studies in each chapter, the volume provides practical examples of how International Relations theories – such as realism, liberal institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, feminist institutionalism, constructivism, critical security studies, practice theory, and complexity theory – can be applied to a specific policy issue. Applying these theories enhances our understanding of why UN peacekeeping, as an international institution, has evolved in a particular direction and functions the way that it does. The insights generated in the volume can also help shed light on other international institutions as well as the broader issue of international co-operation.
This book traces discussions about international relations from the middle ages up to the present times. It presents central concepts in historical context and shows how ancient ideas still affect the way we perceive world politics. It discusses medieval theologians like Augustine and Aquinas whose rules of war are still in use. It presents Renaissance humanists like Machiavelli and Bodin who developed our understanding of state sovereignty. It argues that Enlightenment philosophers like Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau laid the basis for the modern analyses of International Relations (IR). Later thinkers followed up with balance-of-power models, perpetual-peace projects and theories of exploitation as well as peaceful interdependence. Classic IR theories have then been steadily refined by later thinkers – from Marx, Mackinder and Morgenthau to Waltz, Wallerstein and Wendt. The book shows that core ideas of IR have been shaped by major events in the past and that they have often reflected the concerns of the great powers. It also shows that the most basic ideas in the field have remained remarkably constant over the centuries.
blamed for the lack of rapprochement: there was ‘limited attention paid to the role and purpose of peace operations from within the intellectual context of InternationalRelationstheory’ (Pugh 2003 : 104). Even in the second half of the 2000s, Bures ( 2007 : 407) observed that the literature on peacekeeping was ‘idiosyncratic and atheoretical’, while Lindley ( 2007 : 3) characterised it as ‘a surprisingly theory-free zone’. As late as 2015, peacekeeping research was described as ‘largely a-theoretical’ and ‘focused on the practical concern’ (Diehl and Druckman 2015
Where should we look for the origins of an InternationalRelationstheory tradition? 1 On the one hand are authors who claim that we should begin with World War I. This is too late. Long before World War I, a large body of literature existed which discussed issues of war, wealth, peace and power in international relations – as this book seeks to show. On the other hand are authors who argue that we should begin with the dawn of recorded history. But this is too early. No sustained connection exists between the famous discussions of Xenophon
will have to pay their cost in blood and taxes, so they will strive to avoid it (Keane 1996 , pp. 296ff). Godwin agreed that ‘war will be foreign to the character of any people in proportion as their democracy becomes simple and unalloyed’ (Godwin 1985 , p. 507).
French theorists – mechanical equilibrium
The many brilliant theorists of Enlightenment Europe make it difficult to select a single writer to represent the InternationalRelationstheory of the age. Even the shortest list of authors who might be considered ‘the voice of the eighteenth
and Complexity, Conflict Research Society and Conflict Analysis Research Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury , 2–3 September.
Gadinger , Frank
( 2016 ), ‘ Feedback loops in a world of complexity: A cybernetic approach at the interface of foreign policy analysis and InternationalRelationstheory ’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs , 29 : 1 , 251
and Northern Ireland
Máire Braniff and Sophie Whiting
Approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1998 landmark Good Friday
or Belfast Agreement, the age-old issue of security plagues the failed negotiations on dealing with the past and the issues of victimhood, justice, and
historical accountability in Northern Ireland.1 The security dilemma is one
of the most compelling issues in the real world of politics and in International
Relations (IR) scholarship.2 The negotiations about how to deal with Northern
arguments had not been so totally forgotten. No one cites Lorimer today. Yet, his insights are central to InternationalRelationstheory. They are, however, regularly attributed to other scholars who have waxed more recently on concepts like ‘interstate system’, ‘anarchy’, ‘balance of power’, ‘interdependence’ and ‘institutions of order’.
IR, in other words, is not among those academic fields which are distinguished by a steady accumulation of knowledge. James Lorimer has, like many other International Relations authors of the past, relapsed into total darkness
), Realist Constructivism: Rethinking InternationalRelationsTheory ( Cambridge : Cambridge University Press ).
Barnett , Michael N.
( 1999 ), ‘ The politics, power, and pathologies of international organizations ’, International Organization , 53 : 4 , 699–732 .
Barnett , Michael N
InternationalRelationstheory appeared in the sixteenth century. It emerged alongside the painful twin-birth of the modern state system and the modern world economy. Its growth was part of a process which eroded old institutions and overthrew traditional truths, but which did not replace the old conceptions with new certainties. It was a central part of the intellectual anxiety of that sprawling, tumultuous epoch which marked the transition from the medieval to the modern world. It was an age torn between the beliefs of the medieval mind and the