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Author: Eşref Aksu

This study explores the normative dimension of the evolving role of the United Nations in peace and security and, ultimately, in governance. What is dealt with here is both the UN's changing raison d'être and the wider normative context within which the organisation is located. The study looks at the UN through the window of one of its most contentious, yet least understood, practices: active involvement in intra-state conflicts as epitomised by UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the conceptual tools provided by the ‘historical structural’ approach, it seeks to understand how and why the international community continuously reinterprets or redefines the UN's role with regard to such conflicts. The study concentrates on intra-state ‘peacekeeping environments’, and examines what changes, if any, have occurred to the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One of the original aspects of the study is its analytical framework, where the conceptualisation of ‘normative basis’ revolves around objectives, functions and authority, and is closely connected with the institutionalised values in the UN Charter such as state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development.

Evolution of the normative basis
Eşref Aksu

the main objective, with the utmost emphasis placed on protecting the sovereignty of state parties to the conflict. At the same time, the UN was required to respect fully state sovereignty, that is, uphold the principle of non-intervention. The notion of UN authority inherent in Hammarskjöld’s peacekeeping doctrine, however, contrasted sharply with that implicit in collective security thinking. Almost by

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Just war and against tyranny
Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

reasons for a just war. The just war ( bellum justum ) doctrine has its origins in ancient Greek and Roman thought, and was developed in early Christian and more specifically medieval Catholic thinking. This first normative phase regarding war was followed by the period between the Peace of Westphalia (1648) until 1918 in which waging war, even without a pretext, was deemed an attribute of state sovereignty. 1 It consisted mainly of jus ad

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

if he were a Marxist) that it has been used as ‘an ideological instrument of imperialist expansion, and in its ethical-humanitarian form it is a specific vehicle of economic imperialism … whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat’. 4 The question of intervention for humanitarian reasons poses agonizing dilemmas. There is the tension between the sanctity of life (saving human beings) and the veneration of sovereignty and independence; and there is the tension between

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
Eşref Aksu

the island. Prelude to active UN involvement The internal strife in Cyprus was first brought to the notice of the Security Council on 26 December 1963 in a letter from the Government of Cyprus, which listed perceived acts and threats against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus, and requested the UN to protect the country from unilateral military

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Impact of structural tensions and thresholds
Eşref Aksu

and China had to be reckoned with. The main preoccupation of war-wary actors was maintenance of international peace and security. Protection of and respect for state sovereignty, and prevention of acts of aggression signified the most important ideational aspect of the new world order. The holocaust did no doubt preoccupy the minds of many, but the German and Japanese aggression in Europe and elsewhere was arguably

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Problematising the normative connection
Eşref Aksu

contradiction between respecting national sovereignty and the moral and ethical imperative to stop slaughter within states is real and difficult to resolve.’ 7 Examples of such normative difficulties can be multiplied. The principle of peaceful settlement of conflicts, for instance, may be at odds with human rights and self-determination. 8 It is possible to argue that even peace and security may sometimes

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith

’. 12 Forthright criticism was not only limited to those that predictably took a strong view on the sanctity of state sovereignty. The Rio Group of Latin American states similarly expressed its ‘anxiety’ over the use of force in ‘contravention of the provisions of Article 53’ of the UN Charter. 13 Clearly therefore, important components of the international community did not accept notions of an

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Open Access (free)
Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

assumed that the non-intervention norm was established in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). In fact non-intervention was established as a principle of international law in the first half of the eighteenth century by jurists Christian Wolff and Emer de Vattel. 9 Thereafter non-intervention became a fully fledged legal principle associated with the principles of sovereignty and independence. Half a century later, Kant lent considerable weight to this new norm in his quest for principles

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
The analytical framework
Eşref Aksu

overriding and uncontested value, especially in relation to other important principles in the Charter. On close inspection it becomes evident that most principles scattered through the Charter cluster around three other basic values and are closely associated with them: 32 state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development. State sovereignty and human rights seem to be especially relevant to the

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change