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A conceptual history
Author: Kirsten Haack

This book provides a critical, conceptual-historical analysis of democracy at the United Nations, detailed in four ‘visions’ of democracy: civilization, elections, governance and developmental democracy. ‘I know it when I see it’ were the famous words of US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on defining obscenity. It is with the same conviction and (un)certainty that liberal peacebuilders and democracy promoters have used democracy to achieve both the immediate goals of peacekeeping and the broader, global mission of the UN. Today, democracy may have gained an international dimension, yet its success as an organizational practice depends on how it has been defined. Drawing on political theory and democratization scholarship, the book questions the meaning of this well-‘known’ idea. It analyses the way in which the UN, through its Secretary-General, relevant agencies and organizational practices, have thought about, conceptualized and used democracy. The book shows that while the idea of democracy's ‘civilizing’ nature has played a prominent part in its use by the UN, an early focus on sovereignty and self-determination delayed the emergence of the democracy agenda until the 1990s. Today, a comprehensive democracy agenda incorporates not only elections but a broad range of liberal-democratic institutions. Despite this, the agenda is at an impasse, both practically and philosophically. The book questions whether an extension of the UN democracy agenda to include ‘developmental democracy’ is feasible.

Author: Chen Kertcher

This book offers a brief review of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations from 1947 to 2014. It examines international politics at the United Nations from 1988 to 1991 when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) dissolved. The book offers new explanations for the dwindling support for UN peacekeeping operations from late 1993 to 1995. It examines the diplomatic discussions at the Security Council, the General Assembly and the UN Secretariat on the objectives and principles of success of the operations from January 1992 to mid-1993. It is accepted by researchers and even the UN Secretariat that peacekeeping operations can be divided into two separate time periods: from 1947-88, or the Cold War era, and from 1988 to the present, the post-Cold War era. The book further explains what occurred in the UN during 1995 that called for a re-examination of the new concept and practice of peacekeeping in civil wars. It shows how the international community succeeded in providing only part of the requirements for the many operations, and especially for the large multidimensional operations in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia and Somalia. Finally, the book emphasises the importance of regional organisations with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Author: Eşref Aksu

This study explores the normative dimension of the evolving role of the United Nations in peace and security and, ultimately, in governance. What is dealt with here is both the UN's changing raison d'être and the wider normative context within which the organisation is located. The study looks at the UN through the window of one of its most contentious, yet least understood, practices: active involvement in intra-state conflicts as epitomised by UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the conceptual tools provided by the ‘historical structural’ approach, it seeks to understand how and why the international community continuously reinterprets or redefines the UN's role with regard to such conflicts. The study concentrates on intra-state ‘peacekeeping environments’, and examines what changes, if any, have occurred to the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One of the original aspects of the study is its analytical framework, where the conceptualisation of ‘normative basis’ revolves around objectives, functions and authority, and is closely connected with the institutionalised values in the UN Charter such as state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development.

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.

Kseniya Oksamytna and John Karlsrud

Paul D. Williams (eds) ( 2013 ), Providing Peacekeepers: The Politics, Challenges and Future of United Nations Peacekeeping Contributions ( Oxford : Oxford University Press ). Benner , Thorsten , Stephan Mergenthaler , and Philipp Rotmann ( 2011 ), The New World of UN

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
Leslie C. Green

United Nations forces The overriding purpose of the United Nations is the preservation of peace. With this in view it seeks to limit the right of any state to resort to war. Article 2 (4) includes among the Principles of the Organisation that ‘all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Kirsten Haack

this capacity is part of the prescribed role, not an assumed one. Focussing on the Secretary-General as norm entrepreneur (Johnstone 2003; Rushton 2008) in the conceptualisation of democracy therefore yields a sharper image of what UN democracy is. According to Newman, the office of the Secretary-General is ‘something of a chimera, with a tension between explicit administrative duties and an implied political role’ (Newman 1995: 1). Accordingly, the United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP) identifies the existence of two United

in The United Nations democracy agenda
Kirsten Haack

triangular relationship among development, freedom (democracy) and peace. The three are interdependent. If the United Nations is to lead in the pursuit of peace, it also must be able to promote the growth of democratic societies and encourage the development of economic well-being on which both democratic governance and peace ultimately depend. At the end of my second term as Secretary-General, this is what I saw as the major challenge facing national governments and the United Nations. (Perez de Cuellar 1997: 18) While he may have presaged the

in The United Nations democracy agenda
Developmental democracy
Kirsten Haack

Madeleine Albright, led to a pledge of 106 states to work together to uphold and promote democratic principles and values. In his closing speech to the Warsaw Ministerial Conference, Secretary-General Annan praised the Community’s efforts and remarked that the idea of Towards a Community of Democracies ‘represents my own most profound aspiration for the United Nations as a whole’ and that ‘when the United Nations can truly call itself a community of democracies, the Charter’s noble ideals of protecting human rights and promoting “social progress in larger freedoms” will

in The United Nations democracy agenda
Kirsten Haack

United Nations’. The exercise of secession by a group from an existing state, as envisioned by Lenin, was therefore ruled out. 13 Instead of secession, independence was the logical result of exercising the right to self-determination, as the subject that had the right to self-determination was defined as an entire population of a state or colonial territory. Thus, as the international community tried to deal with the political situation and the conceptual-legal issues with which it was confronted, self-determination moved further away from

in The United Nations democracy agenda