The UN Secretary-General and International Norm Development

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In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and in its wake there were a flood of essays from political scientists around the world. The general theme of the essays was the fall of the Soviet Union would usher in a new age of peace and prosperity that the world had never known before. However, the events that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union were the exact opposite . There was an increased need to restore political order in countries around the world, promote human rights and pacify conflict zones. The chaotic times after the Cold War revealed something that was missing from leading realist and liberal theory that had defined the international relations debate. What was missing was the historical and cultural context. Liberal and realist theory only used generalizations about states at the core of their arguments. These sweeping generalizations no longer adequately described the new world and new questions began to surface about how states transition from peace to conflict. These questions would later turn into a more quintessential question; how does change occur? Martha Finnemore , in her essay, International norm dynamics and political change, makes the argument that change is actually a gradual process and is based off developing norms. In her paper she describes how norms have a three stage life cycle. The first stage is known as stage emergence. This is where a norm entrepreneur uses organizational platforms to promote new norms. The next stage is norm cascade where the norm becomes institutionalized by organizations and the states. This phase is essentially unpredictable and difficult to identify. The final phase is where the norm is accepted by the international community and is no longer questioned (Finnmore894). My... ... middle of paper ... ...ganization . 52.4 (1998): pp 887-917. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. Finnemore, Martha . "Constructing norms of humanitarian intervention." the culture of national security . n. page. Print Gowan, Richard. 2011. “Floating Down the River of History: Ban Ki---moon and Peacekeeping, 2007-2011.” Global Governance 17(4): 399-416. Traub, James. The Best Intentions . New York, NY: Farrar,Straus,Girux, 2006. Print. Annan, Kofi. The United Nations . Office of the Secretary General . In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all. . New York, NY: , 2005. Print. Dunne, Tim, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith. International Relations Theories . 2nd. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010. 178-194. Print. United Nations. The United Nations Mission in Côte d'Ivoire. Backround. he Peace and Security Section of the Department of Public Information , 2004. Web.
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