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The United Nations and changing world politics

The United Nations and changing world politics

Weiss, Thomas George

This completely revised and updated seventh edition serves as the definitive text for courses in which the United Nations is either the focus or a central component. Built around three critical themes in international relations—peace and security, human rights, and humanitarian affairs—the seventh edition of The United Nations and Changing World Politics guides students through the complexity of politics and almost seven decades of UN activities. Students of all levels will learn what the UN is, how it operates, and what its relationships are with the universe of external actors and institutions, from sovereign states to the plethora of nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations now playing important roles in world politics. This new edition is fully revised to take into account recent events, including the impact of the global financial crisis and recession on international politics, UN actibvities related to peacekeeping and natural disasters, the UN’s actions in Libya and Syria and the Arab Spring, the tenure of Ban Ki-moon, Rio+20, and the Iranian nuclear issue

Book. English.
7th ed.
Published Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, c2014
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Statement of responsibility: Thomas G. Weiss ... [et al.]
ISBN: 0813348471, 9780813348476
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: xxv, 422 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Subject: World politics 1989-; United Nations.


  1. Introduction
  2. Part One. International Peace and Security1. The Theory of UN Collective Security2. UN Security Efforts During the Cold War3. UN Security Operations After the Cold War4. Evolving Security Operations: Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Sudan5. The Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
  3. Part Two. Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs6. The United Nations, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairs7. The United Nations and Applying Human Rights Standards8. Change, the United Nations, and Human Rights
  4. Part Three. Sustainable Human Development9. Theories of Development at the United Nations10. Sustainable Development as Process: UN Organizations and Norms11. The UN and Development in a Globalizing World
  5. Conclusion: Learning from Change

Author note

Thomas G. Weissis Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies.

David P. Forsytheis the Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Roger A. Coateis Paul D. Coverdell Professor of Public Policy at Georgia College & State University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of South Carolina.

Kelly-Kate Peaseis Professor of International Relations at Webster University in St. Louis and the Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies.


Praise for Previous Editions:

"Since its first edition in the mid-1990s, this book has been the standard text on the UN for courses in international organization. No other book can compete with its sophisticated analysis and up-to-date information."
Craig N. Murphy, Wellesley College

"[The authors] focus on the most important questions of international governance—human security, human rights, and sustainable development—and provide students with a wealth of information enabling them to make their own informed conclusions about the UN system’s contributions to answering them."
M. J. Peterson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"Few stories are as complex, as misunderstood, or as urgent as that of the United Nations. No one tells it better than this dynamic author team. Already a classic, their text offers invaluable insights into how the world tries, fails, and tries again to govern itself."
Edward Luck, Columbia University

"These civilized voices from the ‘other America’ have done it again! Taking as their principal themes peace and security, human rights and humanitarian issues, as well as sustainable human development, [the authors] guide us through the intricacies of politics at the UN in the form of an analytical narrative of global problems. This is not only for students and practitioners in the United States, but elsewhere, too, if we are to get an authentic and welcome voice of that ‘other America.’"
A.J.R. Groom, University of Kent