Revisiting the United Nations’ Role in Maintaining Peace and Security in the 21st Century: Norm Contestation and Changing Power Dynamics

Conference: The Asian Undergraduate Research Symposium (AURS2021)
Title: Revisiting the United Nations’ Role in Maintaining Peace and Security in the 21st Century: Norm Contestation and Changing Power Dynamics
Stream: Political Science: Administration, Governance and Finance
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation
Authors:
Wenbo Wu, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China

Abstract:

As the freezing effect of the Cold War on international relations vanished in the 1990s, the past two decades have witnessed a more active role played by the United Nations (UN) in maintaining international peace and security with the introduction of influential new policy programmes. In assessing the UN’s effectiveness, while none of the individual International Relations (IR) theories can generate adequate knowledge, each of them holds critical insights. Based on empirical investigations, rationalism-informed approaches, particularly the realist-neoliberal institutionalist debate on interstate cooperation, have offered important insights in conceptualizing the role of international organizations in IR. Nevertheless, the state-centric and rational choice-based model of these approaches could be vulnerable in more interpretive contexts. Based on a theoretical model inspired by constructivism and complemented by the English School and Chinese IR scholarship, this thesis examines the UN’s efforts in maintaining international peace and security in the 21st century from a normative perspective and argues that owing to its normative importance, the UN plays a predominant role in the socialization processes of international security norms, which have major impacts on how the UN delivers governance in security issues. Meanwhile, this thesis also demonstrates how states influence UN security governance through participating in norm contestations and how this reveals the rise and fall of state power. Drawing on extensive UN documents and government statements, the socialization processes of two norms: the Responsibility to Protect and the Women Peace and Security agenda will be analyzed using a process-tracing method to further illustrate the thesis.



Virtual Presentation



Virtual Poster Presentation

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