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Title: A critical analysis of UN reform in the post-Cold War era : a case study of Boutros Ghali's reform agenda
Author: Shalaby, Naglaa Gamil
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 063X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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The principal concern of this thesis is to analyse critically United Nations (UN) reform in the Post-Cold War era. The thesis contends that reform can be explained as a product of shifts in the global power structure as well as global norms. More especially the thesis argues that research on UN reform remains constrained by its tendency to dismiss the significance of shifts in norms. This being so, this study presents a critique of the existing literature on Post-Cold War UN reform, the bulk of which adopts an orthodox realist framework. It attempts to answer the following question: 'How does realism contribute to an understanding of Post-Cold War UN reform? In pursuing an answer, the study considers two versions of realism, namely neorealism and the English School (ES). The aim is to elucidate the way each perspective can shed light on the process of reform and the value each provides as an account of UN reform. The thesis commences by explaining how international organizations (IOs) and the process of IO change may be understood theoretically. This is important in order to substantiate the distinction the thesis makes between the two approaches (neorealism and the ES) to IOs and the UN in particular. The core of the thesis applies the major assumptions and conceptual tools of neorealism and the ES to Ghali's reform agenda to assess their relative explanatory leverage. It concludes that structural variables alone cannot explain the content, direction and success of reform. Rather, these are better explained by an analysis of changes in the normative structure of international relations. The main conclusion of the thesis, therefore, is that attempts to understand UN reform in the Post-Cold War era require a holistic realist analysis which recognizes the significance of structural power but at the same time links material influences with normative forces. This is an important departure from the neorealist literature, which focuses exclusively on the international distribution of power to account for IO reform. The contribution of the study is that it offers a theoretically complementary explanation of Ghali's reform agenda. It accepts the orthodox account that the initiation of UN reform in the 1990s can be explained by systemic and great power constraints. Unlike the orthodox paradigm, however, this thesis does not derive explanations solely from material structures. Instead, it demonstrates how normative values shaped the content and implementation of reform, hi short, this thesis takes norms seriously in its explanation and understanding of Ghali's reform agenda. In doing so, it brings norms back in to the realist analysis of Post-Cold War UN reform and the study of IOs more generally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available