United Nations Peace Operations and International Relations Theory: An Introduction

  • Citation: Oksamytna, Kseniya and Karlsrud, John, United Nations Peace Operations and International Relations Theory: An Introduction (August 1, 2020). United Nations Peace Operations and International Relations Theory, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3665340
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • United Nations
    • international organisations
    • peacekeeping
    • International Relations theory
    • realism
    • liberal institutionalism
    • rational choice institutionalism
    • sociological institutionalism
    • constructivism
    • practice theory
    • complexity theory
    • critical security studies
    • feminist institutionalism

UN peacekeeping is a core pillar of the multilateral peace and security architecture and a multi-billion undertaking reshaping lives around the world. In spite of this, the engagement between the literatures on UN peacekeeping and International Relations theory has been a slow development. This has changed in recent years, and there is now a growing interest to examine UN peacekeeping from various theoretical perspectives to yield insights about how international relations are changing and developing. The volume is the first comprehensive overview of multiple theoretical perspectives on UN peacekeeping. There are two main uses of this volume. First, this volume provides the reader with insights into different theoretical lenses and how they practically can be applied to better understand UN peacekeeping. Second, through case studies in each chapter, the volume provides practical examples of how International Relations theories – such as realism, liberal institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, feminist institutionalism, constructivism, critical security studies, practice theory, and complexity theory – can be applied to a specific policy issue. Applying these theories enhances our understanding of why UN peacekeeping, as an international institution, has evolved in a particular direction and functions the way that it does. The insights generated in the volume can also help shed light on other international institutions as well as the broader issue of international cooperation.

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