The United Nations, Peace Operations and the Cold War: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The United Nations, Peace Operations and the Cold War

2nd Edition

By Norrie Macqueen


224 pages

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This is the first introduction to the United Nation's activities during the Cold War period. It combines a history of the UN with a broader account of east-west diplomacy during the Cold War and after. Norrie MacQueen begins by looking at the formation, structure and functions of the UN. Then, within a chronological framework, he assesses its contribution to international security from the emergence of the UN's peacekeeping role in 1945-56 right through to UN operations in the 1990s in Angola, Somalia and Bosnia.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition


UN Operations Established 1948-1995

Who’s Who


Part One: Analysis

1 The ‘Failure’ of the League of Nations and the Beginnings of the UN

  • A new world order?
  • Managing post-war adjustment
  • The breakdown of the collective idea
  • The war-time origins of the UN

2 The United Nations and the Dilemmas of Collective Security

  • International security and the UN Charter
  • Onset of the cold war and the end of the illusion: Korea

3 The (Re)Discovery of Peacekeeping

  • Truce supervision in Palestine
  • Military observation in Kashmir
  • The UN’s first peacekeeping ‘force’: Suez

4 Cold War Peacekeeping Conceptualized

  • Hammarskjöld’s Summary Study and the ‘rules’ of peacekeeping
  • Arab Nationalism and the international system: Lebanon and Yemen

5 The Peacekeeping Model Challenged: from the Congo to Cyprus

  • Post-colonial test: the Congo morass
  • The UN in West New Guinea: peace without honour?
  • Peacekeeping within the Cold War Family: Cyprus
  • The legality of peace operations: the article 19 crisis

6 Superpower Détente and Peace Operations in the Middle East

  • Israel, Egypt, Syria and the 1973 war
  • Lebanonin the twilight of Détente

7 The ‘Second’ Cold War: Peace Suspended?

  • Non-UN peacekeeping in the Middle East
  • Peace operations resume: the Namibia-Angola arrangement

8 The End of the Cold War

  • Opportunityand demand: the new post-cold war world
  • Collective security at last? Operation Desert Storm
  • Boutros-Ghali’s Agenda for Peace

9 Peace Operations and the Cold War: a Balance Sheet

  • Peace operations and the status of the United Nations
  • Peace operations and regional stability
  • Peace operations and the state

Part Two: Documents

1 The International Force for the Saar: report of the League of Nations Council sub-committee, 12 December 1934.

2 The Covenant of the League of Nations and collective security.

3 From the Atlantic Charter, August 1941.

4 International security and the United Nations Charter.

5 The Soviet Union and the veto: from Andrei Gromyko, Memories (1989).

6 The Unified Command in Korea: US State Department memo, 13 September 1950.

7 The General Assembly Uniting for Peace resolution, 3 November 1950.

8 Inter-war precursors of UN peace operations.

9 Secretary General Trygvie Lie on the Palestine Truce Supervision Organization and the assassination of Count Bernadotte: from In the Cause of Peace (1954).

10 Lester Pearson and the United Nations Emergency Force: from Mike: the Memoirs of the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson (1973).

11 U Thant and the withdrawal of UNEF: from View from the UN (1978).

12 Dag Hammarskjöld’s ‘Summary Study’ of Peacekeeping the light of the Suez experience, October 1958.

13 Three Security Council Resolutions on the Congo operation.

14 Exchange of letters between Congo prime minister Patrice Lumumba and secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld, August 1960.

15 Khrushchev and the ‘troika’ proposal: address to the General Assembly, 23 September 1960.

16 Conor Cruise O’Brien and the Katanga question: from To Katanga and Back (1963).

17 Hammarskjöld and the pressures of office: from Markings (1964).

18 Forming the Cyprus Force: letter from Irish External Affairs Minister Frank Aiken to secretary general U Thant, 13 March 1964.

19 The financing of peace operations: the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, 20 July 1962.

20 Détente and the Middle East – the American perspective: from Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (1982).

21 Détente and the Middle East – the Soviet perspective: from Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents (1995).

22 Secretary general Kurt Waldheim on the Lebanon force: fromIn the Eye of the Storm (1985).

23 US-UN relations and the end of the operation in Somalia: from Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Unvanquished (1999).

24 Operation Desert Storm: Security Council Resolution 678, 29 November 1990.

25 Secretary general Boutros-Ghali’s proposal for peace enforcement units: from An Agenda for Peace (1992).

Further Reading


About the Author

Norrie MacQueen is currently Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Dundee, and author of a range of books on the UN and peacekeeping including Peacekeeping and the International System (2006), The United Nations: a Beginner's Guide (2010), and Humanitarian Intervention and the United Nations (2011).

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century