The United Nations (UN), established in 1945, is an international organization with states as members.
The UN functions both as an arena for states to negotiate international rules and norms, and as an actor set to monitor these rules and engage in activities to further specific goals, such as peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief. The UN is unique among international organizations because it represents the most encompassing and ambitious attempt to institutionalize cooperation and to regulate inter-state relations through rules. The UN consists of a General Assembly where all member states are represented, a Security Council, and a Secretariat. The broader UN system is made up of programme and funds like the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and specialized agencies like the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
At NUPI, central areas of research on the UN include:
- the evolution of norms of non-intervention
- the politics of the UN Security Council and the role of global summits
- the legitimacy and efficacy of the UN’s operational activities
News about united nations
UN peacekeeping faces significant challenges and some question whether it can remain relevant, but most countries agree on the importance of the UN as the centrepiece of global governance, and that peacekeeping is its flagship enterprise.
23 May 2018
In this NUPI podcast, cyber-expert Karsten Geier proposes a new way forward.
23 Apr 2018
The world is facing enormous challenges in light of protracted crises and conflicts. The United Nations are looking for answers with the new ‘sustaining peace’ approach. What are the chances of the new approach to change the UN and create sustainable peace? Cedric de Coning...
Publications about united nations
- Publication : MONOGRAFI
2018This book examines a new type of state formation evoked by the rise of transnational rule, what Schia calls franchised states. Turning the UN into a field site and drawing on an anthropological fieldwork of the UN organization, he demonstrates how peacebuilding activities turned Liberia into an object...
Research projects about united nations
Photograph: NTB Scanpix
2018 - 2021 (Ongoing)
The project will look deeper into the New Right in countries such as Russia, the US, and Poland, examining in particular the alternative visions of Western civilisational order that these movements harbour,...
Foto: UN Photo
2017 - 2020 (Ongoing)
The aim of this project is to strengthen the ability of UN peace operations to respond to global security challenges and improve their effectiveness.
2017 - 2018 (Ongoing)
Which tools to politicians in the Nordic countries have available to them in a more challenging geopolitical sphere?