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The United Nations Lecture 1 Spring 2013 Professor OMalley UN -- Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "The United Nations Lecture 1 Spring 2013 Professor OMalley UN -- Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 The United Nations Lecture 1 Spring 2013 Professor OMalley UN -- Introduction

2 Essentials 1.Buy the textbook (see the website) 2.Website – here here

3 First 3 Questions 1.Why are you in this class? 2.What can you tell me about the UN? 3.What do you think about the UN?

4 What is the UN? It is a confederation of sovereign states It is a mechanism; an instrument of negotiation It is an intergovernmental organization (IO or IGO) It is a consolidating axis for organizations that link states more closely together What is it not? It is not a superstate able to act outside the framework of decisions of its members It is not a world government

5 Theoretical Perspectives *Through what lens can we view the UN?* Realism (IOs only good to gain relative power, cant change human nature) Idealism (States can cooperate to help mankind) Marxism (Capitalists use UN/IOs to dominate others) Critical Theory / Constructivism (UN convenes diverse actors and importance depends on construction of intl affairs at time) Feminism (UN can serve broader communal goals) Dependency Theory (UN and its orgs. Can change the world economic system) *There are others as well

6 What lens will we use? We will not use one specific theory. Your textbook will rarely mention theories. However, these theories are useful for noticing trends in UN history and policy. The UN is a complex organization: It is a system of organizations. It has many obligations. It is constantly evolving. *One theory or view is not sufficient*

7 The UN System * How many of you know the World Bank, IMF and WTO are part of the UN system?

8 The UN Website If you havent been there – go!

9 Homework Check the website!


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