We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition

Jussi M. Hanhimäki

June 2015

ISBN: 9780190222703

192 pages

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99



A clear, compact, and accessible introduction to the United Nations. In this fully updated edition, Hanhimäki examines the UN's history and future prospects. The book evaluates the UN's successes and failures, aiming to debunk some of the persistent myths that swirl around what is ultimately an indispensable global organization.

  • An easily accessible introduction that concisely explains the key features of the world's only truly global organization.
  • Includes more recent examples of the UN Security Council in action and peacekeeping challenges since 2008.
  • An update of the success/failure of the Millennium development goals
  • Examines recent discussions related to human security, refugees, and gender issues
  • Updated chronology and further reading
  • Includes coverage on current issues including the Ukrainian crisis, Syrian civil War, and ongoing peace keeping problems in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - millions of copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Jussi M. Hanhimäki, Professor of International History, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Jussi M. Hanhimäki is a professor of international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. His books include The Rise and Fall of Détente: American Foreign Policy and the Transformation of the Cold War (2013); Transatlantic Relations Since 1945 (2012); United Nations: A Very Short Introduction (2008); The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (2004); and The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (2003). He has also published articles and reviews in such journals as Diplomatic History, Diplomacy and Statecraft, The International History Review, and Relations Internationales. He serves in the editorial boards of Refugee Survey Quarterly, Cold War History, and Relations Internationales. In 2006 Professor Hanhimäki was named Finland Distinguished Professor by the Academy of Finland.

Table of Contents

    [from 1e:]
    List of illustrations
    1 The best hope of mankind?: A brief history of the UN
    2 An impossible hybrid: the structure of the United Nations
    3 Facing wars, confronting threats: the UN Security Council in action
    4 Peacekeeping to peacebuilding
    5 Economic development to human development
    6 Rights and responsibilities: human rights to human security
    7 Reform and challenges: the future of the United Nations
    Glossary: acronyms of major UN organs and agencies used in the text
    Further reading

Related Titles