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The United Nations Secretary-General, peace and security, and the global political environment

Newman, Edward (1996) The United Nations Secretary-General, peace and security, and the global political environment. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94551) (KAR id:94551)

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This thesis presents the evolution of the UN Secretaryship-General’s peace and security roles in the context of developments and trends in international politics since the early 1970s. Part 1 outlines the historical, political and institutional background to the international civil service since 1919. It traces the accumulation of the Secretaryship- General’s roles in conflict prevention, management and settlement, and also outlines the tensions and shortcomings of the classical conception of the international civil service. Part 2 hones down the research by presenting the methodology and identifying the specific activities of the Secretaryship-General which will be examined in greater detail for the remainder of the research. Subsequent chapters examine the incumbencies of Kurt Waldheim, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali in the context of the evolving political environment. Particular attention is given to post-Cold War developments in peace and security and the multifaceted - and sometimes paradoxical - implications these have had for the Secretaryship-General. The Office is a focal point of multilateral turbulence as the UN struggles to adapt to evolving circumstances. It has reflected the friction which accompanies such change but it has also been elevated by the burgeoning level of the UN’s activities and developments in political-military thinking in the Secretariat and Security Council. The Secretaryship-General is put into the context of a wider conception of peace and security which increasingly blurs the distinction between the international and domestic realms and embraces a far wider agenda than that traditionally accepted. The conclusion questions the extent to which the Secretaryship-General has evolved beyond the traditional conception of the international civil service within this environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Groom, A.J.R.
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94551
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Political science
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2022 14:59 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2023 09:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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