New World Disorder: A Critique of the United Nations

By Holmes, Kim R. | Journal of International Affairs, Winter 1993 | Go to article overview

New World Disorder: A Critique of the United Nations


Holmes, Kim R., Journal of International Affairs


For over 40 years, the Cold War conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union paralyzed the peacekeeping functions of the United Nations. With few exceptions, the United Nations and other multinational organizations were ineffective in resolving major conflicts because of the zero-sum nature of the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is over, many believe that the United Nations can play a greater role in resolving conflicts and maintaining order in the so-called new world.

Glowing in the success of the Persian Gulf War, the United Nations has renewed stature and expanding peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere. At this point, some believe the time has come to further expand the peacekeeping responsibilities of the United Nations. Advocates of this position call for the creation of a standby U.N. army; the expansion of the definitions of security threats to include environmental and humanitarian concerns; the increase of the United Nations' powers to intervene in the internal affairs of states; and the creation of what has been referred to as the New World Order, in which the United Nations (and perhaps other multinational organizations) will be the world's main body for not only keeping the peace, but enforcing it.(2)

To be certain, the passing of the Cold War offers new opportunities to make the United Nations more effective. The success of the United Nations in the Gulf War demonstrates that the organization can be used as an effective vehicle of warmaking against an aggressor. In El Salvador, Angola, Namibia and other former Cold War crisis zones, the United Nations has proven to be effective to different degrees in facilitating the establishment of peace and order once a cease-fire has been established.

Yet the millennium for the United Nations and other multinational organizations has not arrived. In all cases of recent U.N. involvement in warmaking or peacekeeping operations, the underlying cause of success was neither the triumph of the multinational ideal in international politics nor was it the birth of a new belief in the ideals of global democracy. Rather, it was the natural and logical consequence of the end of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry, and the general collapse of Soviet support for client states and groups.

As policy makers ponder the wisdom of expanding the United Nations' role in peacekeeping, they should remember one fact: The United Nations remains a mere instrument of nation-states, and its success or failure depends, as always, not mainly on the United Nations itself, but on the degree to which sovereign nation-states believe that international cooperation suits their own national interests. This fact defines both the limitations of and the opportunities for the United Nations as a peacekeeping body.

In order to understand the new global context within which the United Nations must act, an analysis of the current state of the world will begin this article. Following that, a terminology will be developed to define expanded U.N. operations, and will be incorporated into a review of current U.N. peacekeeping efforts. Through an analysis of U.N. successes and failures, the limitations of U.N. peacekeeping will then be explored. The article will conclude with a discussion of risks for both U.S. and international involvement, followed by suggested guidelines for the international community to follow in sustaining the United Nations.

EXPANDING THE U.N. ROLE IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION

New World Disorder

The success of the United Nations in the post-Cold War transition period depends on the organization's awareness of whether a New World Order - based on global democracy and the triumph of the international ideal - actually exists or whether a New World Disorder is arising in its place. History has shown that peace and harmony do not necessarily follow the collapse of old state systems.

Consider the historical parallels. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New World Disorder: A Critique of the United Nations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.