In late 2004, the United Nations High-Level Panel Report on Threats, Challenges, and Change proclaimed that the central challenge for the twenty-first century is to fashion a broader understanding of the notion of “collective security.” In addition to various far-reaching proposals for reform within the United Nations, the panel emphasized the linkages between economic development, security, and human rights, and the imperative of collective action and cooperation between states. In a world deeply divided by differences of power, wealth, and geography, a central question in the fields of international law and organization is whether reaffirmation of the concept of collective security, and a workable consensus on the means of its realization, is possible.
This book brings together a distinguished and diverse group of scholars and practitioners from Europe and the United States to examine these questions and to consider critically the findings and recommendations of the High-Level Panel and ensuing reports. The volume does so by assessing the various responsibilities, commitments, strategies, and institutions necessary for any meaningful conception of collective security both as a matter of practice and as a normative ideal in the fast-changing spheres of international law and organization and amongst a wide array of actors and interests.
The book is organized in four parts, each part considering a contested aspect of the current UN reform process. Part I begins by considering the current impetus for and likely success of UN institutional reform and, in particular, the place of collective security in international legal theory.