The end of the Cold War has brought dramatic changes in global political relations and in their most important forum, the United Nations. Fifty years after the signing of the UN Charter in 1945, scholars, statesmen, and the public at large are taking a fresh look at the role of the United Nations. The essays in this volume provide a comparative study of national policies towards the United Nations. Eight cases have been selected – Algeria, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States – each detailing its government’s historical position on the United Nations, its past, present, and the possible future expectations of the organization, and UN-related issues of special interest and the circumstances behind them. Together the case-studies give a fascinating look into what different states are willing to accept from the United Nations, what they are willing to give, and what their orientation is – cynical, realistic, or idealistic – towards the body.
This study and its companion volume, State, Society, and the UN System: Changing Perspectives on Multilateralism (UNU Press, 1995), offer a unique source of information and analysis of how member states perceive and formulate policies towards the United Nations.
Chadwick F. Alger is Professor of Political Science at the Ohio State University and former Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association.
Gene M. Lyons is Professor Emeritus of Government at Dartmouth College and Research Fellow of the Dickey Center for International Understanding.
John E. Trent is Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, and former Secretary-General of the International Political Science Association.