The United Nations 5/23/2013 3:32:00 PM
MIDTERM REVIEW- 100 marks
/10 Fill in the blank – fill in the term or word that best fits and completes a sentence or paragraph
/10 Identification – identify and explain the significance of major empirical and theoretical elements of
our course so far; choose 5 of 6 to identify (5 choices of 2 marks each)
Section 4- Written Response /10
Review notes form class lectures 1-5
Review assigned textbook chapters from week 1-5
Study Key terms and Concepts sheet
Review Key Points in textbook & read the questions at the end of each textbook chapter.
The United Nations
Alta conference was where the discussion to create the United Nations;
Official founding conference was in San Francisco in April 1945 with 51 Member States
UN Membership Today
193 Member States as of May 2013
Vatican City, Taiwan, and Kosovo are not full member states in the latter two cases because
of the international politics of diplomatic immunity recognition
Controversy continues to surround the capacity, which Palestine should participate at the
United Nations, again because of fierce disagreements about its recognition as a legitimate
Principles of the UN
Collective Security is a principle that attempts to raise international relations out from a self-
help system by setting out mechanisms of mutual protection and principles such as the
peaceful settling of disputes
Multilateralism refers to international cooperation by three or more nation-states;
Usually contrasted to unilateralism and/ or bilateralism.
o Ex; Bush Administration on war on terror – unilateralism that expressed a clear
commitment to willingly take action alone- whether or not other states would join it.
o Bilateral would refer to connections/ cooperation‟s specifically between two
countries; treaties, special relationships, deals/ negotiations that would serve to
undermine multilateral institutions. Ex; „International Criminal Court‟ – as a result of a treaty of 1998 that aims
to punish leaders & other violators of human rights for acts of genocide, war
crimes, and crimes against humanity. The USA has been a vocal opponent of
the international criminal court. – The USA signed bilateral agreements with
all types of countries around the world, getting them to agree that if
American soldiers were charged in this court, they agree NOT to bring these
cases to court.
United Nations Charter
Emphasizes Collective Security setting out parameters, principles, rules and practices
6 Principle Organs of the UN
1. General Assembly – main deliberative body
2. Security Council: international peace and security
3. Economic and Social Council: steering and managing cooperative pursuit of
4. International Court of Justice: international LAW- laws between nations where
countries and governments challenge each other for trade disputes and other wrongdoings
between the two states.
5. Trusteeship Council: “trust territories‟ (now defunct)
6. Secretariat: administrative, research; the bureaucracy of the UN
o All member states have a seat (193 at present)
o Main deliberative body
o Now dominated by many new states; many of them former colonies and most form
the global south.
o 15 members (2013)
10 elected members (cycles of 2 year terms) 5 Permanent Members
o Deals with threats to international peace and security
Article 39 of charter “shall determine any disturbance of peace or act of
aggression to peace”
o The Permanent 5 members of Security Council: USA, China, Russia, France, UK
o Have the ability to null ANY resolution proposed to security council- ALL 5 veto-
yielding members. Not only are their seats permanent, but also have an extreme ability to prevent acts of peace; especially with the prospect of increased intervention
in the world.
KEY Articles of the UN Charter
Chapter VI focuses on the peaceful settlement of disputes
Chapter VII focuses on responses to threats
Article 41 authorizes the Security Council to take coercive measures not including the use of
force (i.e. sanctions or disruptions of communications)
Article 42 authorizes the Security Council to take military action “as may be necessary to
maintain or restore international pace and security”
Article 51 protects the rights of states to self-defense
Selected Declarations and Conventions
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
Genocide Convention (1948) – puts limits on transferring children, destroying cultural
artifacts, and physically eliminating groups of people.
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951)
Convention Against Torture (1984)
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990)
Is the United Nations a Promise or a Problem?
- Efficiency and utility of the UN; what steps can we take to improve its structure
4 Dimensions we should Focus on
1. Security Council - Its role and what it is for/ should be for. It‟s Distribution of power?
2. General Assembly - should continue to be a forum for debate but how efficient is it? Is it
an exaggeration currently?
3. Agencies and Commissions - Are they threatening to form a world-government?
(Conspiracy theories?) Are they Helpful in giving us information and tracking data? Do they
advocate for the powerless and set goals for cooperation?
4. As a Framework and Forum- is it necessary to have a United Nations?
CASE STUDY: Egypt Nationalizes Suez Canal (1956): Nationalization by President Gamal Abdel
Nationalism: government overrides outside claims to resources of land and asserts it should
now belong to government. Suez Canal had built it under French; declared it should be a neutral zone as it was an
important route for ships to get to southern Africa. The Neutral zone was overseen by the
British instead of the French
When Nasser decided it was a rightful Egyptian resource and decided to nationalize it, it
resulted in a Military attack by Britain, France and Israel. NASSA‟s decision was not what
they agreed with so they attacked.
America and Soviet Union were not happy with British, Israeli and French invasion- they
were also trying to maintain reassurance with partners around the world. United Nations
Emergency Force (1956) was deployed to help keep the peace. Canadian Minister of
External Affairs (Lester B. Pearson) took a vocal role in organizing this Peacekeeping
operation. He became known as the “Father of Peacekeeping”
Pearson Awarded Nobel Price (1957) Canada as a Middle Power with Soft Power
o Canada likes to assert that it has no colonial history of conflict however it DOES
o Canadian foreign officials would maybe say that Canada has no colonial external
history of conflict
A Post- Colonial Account of the Suez Crisis
The status quo of Suez Canal was the result of unequal treaties, forced or slave labor, and
unfair international arrangements
A double-standard applies to similar canals worldwide
Nasser has been unfairly portrayed as irrational, unjust and extreme in dominant accounts of
The United Nations response, while on the surface censuring a war of aggression by Britain,
France and Israel, helped to re-establish a new status quo that ensured access for outside
Marxism and International Relations
Marxist vs. Marxian
Marxist: somebody who supports or practices "Marxism" -- the revolutionary theoretical works of Karl
Marx; Someone either linking to, supporting, or implementing "Marxism".
Marxian: relating to the theoretical and practical "works" of Karl Marx.
The Communist Manifesto
Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Capital
“The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual
life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that
determines their consciousness” Marx
Relationship between material factors of society were what shaped and led to certain
superstructures or ideas of society.
Ex a Capitalist Mode of Production – shapes and guides human thinking, attitudes about the
state and society and all other ideational parts of human life, in a way that draws the link from
material to ideational. Material relations of human existence shape ideas of society.
Base and Superstructure
Base: the material basis of society, especially the technological means of production and the
existing relations of production between people
Superstructure: the ideational layer of society, including laws, culture, institutions,
Marx - “Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it
under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given, and
transmitted from the past.”
Structure vs. Agency
Agents: the actors who make choices and take action to have an effect on their social world
(i.e. theory exercise “agency”), often by engaging in resistance
Structures: the lasting social arrangements that provide the context in which agents act, and
which place limitations on the choices available to them
For Marx, structure and agency form a “dialectic”; an entwined process of interplay
between the two.
“The history of all existing societies is the history of class struggle” –Marx & Engels Communist
A Materialist Concept of History
Historical Materialism: the idea that the flow of history is shaped by the relations of
production and the means of production Capitalism is an exploitative form of class relations where the capitalist bourgeoisie unfairly
exploits the working-class proletariat and extract surplus value from their labor
Capitalism contains internal contradictions that will inevitably cause