The United Nations in the 21st Century

Overview


This popular text for courses on international organizations and international relations provides a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the United Nations, exploring the historical, institutional, and theoretical foundations of the UN as well as the political processes and issues facing the organization today. Thoroughly revised throughout, the fourth edition focuses on major events since 2006, including the influence of emerging powers such as China, India, and Brazil, the crisis in UN peacekeeping, ...
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The United Nations in the 21st Century

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Overview


This popular text for courses on international organizations and international relations provides a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the United Nations, exploring the historical, institutional, and theoretical foundations of the UN as well as the political processes and issues facing the organization today. Thoroughly revised throughout, the fourth edition focuses on major events since 2006, including the influence of emerging powers such as China, India, and Brazil, the crisis in UN peacekeeping, and the continuing decline of the UN’s relevance in international economic relations. This edition also includes a new chapter on the future of the United Nations, as well as new case studies on peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo, human trafficking, and the challenges of state building for human security in Haiti.

Helpful student resources include the Charter of the United Nations, a list of acronyms, suggested resources for additional research and reading, and a glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This text presents a comprehensive study of the prospects and challenges for the United Nations in the twenty-first century. It is essential reading for anyone interested in international organization and global politics. The accessible and engaging writing makes it ideal for classroom use.”
Meena Bose, Hofstra University

“This is a welcome update of a valuable text for courses on the United Nations, international organization, or IR. Clear organization and accessible writing make it exceptionally user-friendly for undergraduate teaching. Highlights ways the UN has adapted (or not) to new challenges of the 21st century.”
Richard Stahler-Sholk, Eastern Michigan University

“The newest edition of The United Nations in the 21st Century provides a thorough and accessible overview of the world’s preeminent international organization. It is updated to include the most recent global challenges, from terrorism to piracy to global warming, and to reflect the importance of new players on the international scene. Mingst and Karns provide historical background and a detailed description of the UN system’s many institutions and actors. I have used earlier editions for my undergraduate courses and am eager to adopt this new-and-improved version.”
Alexander Thompson, Ohio State University

Praise for the previous edition:

“Mingst and Karns present an elegant combination of historical, institutional and theoretical foundations to explore both the political processes and enduring issues facing the United Nations today. The book provides succinct yet inclusive coverage of the UN as an actor and arena in issues of global governance. The authors artfully weave three themes of governance, sovereignty and leadership to explore current issues like terrorism, the Millennium Development Goals, evolving conceptions of human security and internal reform. Overall, the book serves as a core text while presenting the most updated and thoughtful coverage of the United Nations’ struggle to balance the demands of states with the needs of people.”
Alynna J. Lyon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, University of New Hampshire

“To find such breadth and depth of material on the United Nations and its activities in a book of this size is remarkable. The effective mix of theory, practice, actors, and issues is complemented by an engaging and easy-to-read narrative. The approach and content of this new edition ensure that the book remains valuable reading for all students of the United Nations and international organizations.”
Courtney B. Smith, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor at the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813345383
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Series: Dilemmas in World Politics
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 778,757
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Karen A. Mingst is Lockwood Chair Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and Department of Political Science, University of Kentucky.
 
Margaret P. Karns is Professor Emerita of Political Science, University of Dayton.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

List of Acronyms xiii

1 The United Nations in World Politics 1

The United Nations in World Politics: Vision and Reality 2

Contending International Relations Theories 9

Dilemmas the UN Faces in the 21st Century 11

Conclusion 16

2 The Evolution of the United Nations System 19

The League of Nations 21

The Origins of the United Nations 22

The Organization of the United Nations 23

Persistent Organizational Problems and the Challenges of Reform 49

Conclusion 60

3 Actors in the United Nations System 63

The Role of States 64

Coalitions, Blocs, and the Importance of Consensus 80

The Secretary-General and the UN Secretariat as Key Actors 83

Nonstate Actors: The Third UN 89

Conclusion 94

4 Maintaining International Peace and Security 97

Linking International Relations Theories 98

Maintaining Peace and Security: The UN Charter and Its Evolution 100

Mechanisms for Peaceful Settlement and Preventive Diplomacy 102

Collective Security, Enforcement, and Sanctions 104

Peacekeeping 113

Humanitarian Intervention-R2P-Providing Human Security 133

Arms Control and Disarmament 142

Coping with Terrorism 146

Future Challenges for the UN's Role in Peace and Security 150

Conclusion 154

5 Economic Development and Sustainability 159

The Organization of the UN System for Promoting Economic Development 160

The UN and Evolving Ideas About Development 176

The UN and Other Actors 187

Lessons Learned 190

The Persistent Dilemmas 192

6 Human Rights 197

From the League of Nations to the United Nations 198

UN Charter Principles and Organizational Structures 199

The Role of the UN in Human Rights 206

The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations 218

Case Studies of the UN System in Action 221

Evaluating the UN's Human Rights Record 240

7 Human Security: The Environment and Health 247

An Expanded View of Security 248

Protection of the Environment 249

Health and Human Security 264

Statebuilding for Human Security: The Case of Haiti 270

Dilemmas in Human Security 275

8 Is There a Future for the United Nations? 281

Does the UN Make a Difference? 281

Lessons About What the UN Cannot Do 286

Factors in UN Success and Failure 288

Can the UN Be Reformed? 289

Linking the UN to Global Governance 290

Appendix: Charter of the United Nations 293

Suggested Sources for Additional Research 309

Glossary 319

Index 323

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