The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | May 28, 2015

byJussi M. Hanhimaki

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After seven decades of existence has the UN become obsolete? Is it ripe for retirement? As Jussi Hanhimaki proves in the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, the answer is no. In the second decade of the twenty-first century the UN remains an indispensable organization thatcontinues to save lives and improve the world as its founders hoped. Since its original publication in 2008, this 2nd edition includes more recent examples of the UN Security Council in action and peacekeeping efforts while exploring its most recent successes and failures.After a brief history of the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations, Hanhimaki examines the UN's successes and failures as a guardian of international peace and security, as a promoter of human rights, as a protector of international law, and as an engineer of socio-economicdevelopment. This updated edition highlights what continues to make the UN a complicated organization today, and the ongoing challenges between its ambitions and capabilities. Hanhimaki also provides a clear account of the UN and its various arms and organizations (such as UNESCO and UNICEF), andoffers a critical overview of the UN Security Council's involvement in recent crises in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, and Syria, and how likely it is to meet its overall goals in the future.Regardless of its obstacles, the UN is likely to survive for the foreseeable future. That alone makes trying to understand the UN in all its manifold - magnificent and frustrating - complexity a worthy task. With this much-needed updated introduction to the UN, Jussi Hanhimaki engages the currentdebate over the organizations effectiveness as he provides a clear understanding of how it was originally conceived, how it has come to its present form, and how it must confront new challenges in a rapidly changing world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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From the Publisher

After seven decades of existence has the UN become obsolete? Is it ripe for retirement? As Jussi Hanhimaki proves in the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, the answer is no. In the second decade of the twenty-first century the UN remains an indispensable organization thatcontinues to save lives and improve the world as its...

Jussi Hanhimaki is a professor of international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. His books include The Rise and Fall of Detente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (2013); Transatlantic Relations Since 1945 (2012); United Nations: A Very Short Introduction...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 6.88 × 4.38 × 0.68 inPublished:May 28, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190222700

ISBN - 13:9780190222703

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The best hope of mankind?: A brief history of the UN2. An impossible hybrid: the structure of the United Nations3. Facing wars, confronting threats: the UN Security Council in action4. Peacekeeping to peacebuilding5. Economic development to human development6. Rights and responsibilities: human rights to human security7. Reform and challenges: the future of the United NationsChronologyGlossary: acronyms of major UN organs and agencies used in the textReferencesFurther readingIndex