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.
.e., provide a logic of action (Hanf and Jansen 1998:4).
Organisations are concerned with action, i.e., with mobilisation
of resources to achieve certain goals and pursue specific values.
Institutionalisedvalues create, influence and develop organisational practices.
One is thus led to the conclusion that organisational changes in
themselves would not be sufficient to achieve integrated governance. Value changes that enhance an ecologically benign
interplay between structures and agents must somehow be
injected into the organisation of ecological governance to ‘influence
with them. Precluded, therefore, are institutionalisedvalue
patterns that deny some people the status of full partners in interaction –
whether by burdening them with excessive ascribed ‘difference’ or by failing
to acknowledge their distinctiveness.
Both the objective condition and the intersubjective condition are necessary for participatory parity. Neither alone is sufficient. The objective condition brings into focus concerns traditionally associated with the theory of
distributive justice, especially concerns pertaining to the economic structure
of society and
did not easily allow for UN and non-UN humanitarian action. As
Donini puts it, ‘cross border humanitarian assistance was
basically taboo for the UN since it was tantamount to a violation of
sovereignty’. 90 In other words, the dominant interpretations of
institutionalisedvalues (Charter principles) tended to resist
the ideational changes slowly taking place as a result of strengthening