The concept of international security and the United Nations

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Roger E. Kanet, Committee Chair


The concept of international security is examined and analyzed. Considering the field of international relations has largely neglected the study of this concept, the hypothesis of the dissertation is that a change in the concept has taken place. The premises upon which the hypothesis rests are: one, after 1945 and before 1988 the notion was related to the absence of war among sovereign states and to the construction of the international society; and two, after the end of the Cold War in February 1988 the concept of international security also means the absence of war within the state and political and social stability within democratic parameters. The dissertation provides the elements that support this proposal through the revision of the foundational ideas of the United Nations and of the application of the international security concept in the first 43 years, as well as the examination of the United Nations' practice in maintaining international peace and security and of the political debate in the last 18 years. This study deals with an issue at the heart of the current debate in international relations and touches fundamental questions related to the structure of the international society.


Political Science, General; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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