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The United Nations and Changing World Politics Paperback – December 22, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0813344355 ISBN-10: 0813344352 Edition: Sixth Edition, Sixth Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press; Sixth Edition, Sixth Edition edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813344352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813344355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“With the latest edition of this widely used textbook, Weiss, Forsythe, Coate, and Pease continue the themes that have made the book so popular…a cogent introduction to theoretical debates and real-world problems… this book will engage students and general readers alike.” –Choice 
Praise for Previous Editions

“Since its first edition in the mid-1990s, this book has been the standard text on the UN for courses in international organization. No other book can compete with its sophisticated analysis and up-to-date information.” —Craig N. Murphy, Wellesley College

“[The authors] focus on the most important questions of international governance—human security, human rights, and sustainable development—and provide students with a wealth of information enabling them to make their own informed conclusions about the UN system’s contributions to answering them.” —M. J. Peterson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Few stories are as complex, as misunderstood, or as urgent as that of the United Nations. No one tells it better than this dynamic author team. Already a classic, their text offers invaluable insights into how the world tries, fails, and tries again to govern itself.” —Edward Luck, Columbia University

“These civilized voices from the ‘other America’ have done it again! Taking as their principal themes peace and security, human rights and humanitarian issues, as well as sustainable human development, [the authors] guide us through the intricacies of politics at the UN in the form of an analytical narrative of global problems. This is not only for students and practitioners in the United States, but elsewhere, too, if we are to get an authentic and welcome voice of that ‘other America.’” —A.J.R. Groom, University of Kent

About the Author

Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he is also one of the directors of the UN Intellectual History Project and one of the editors of Global Governance.

David P. Forsythe is professor and chairman in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Roger A. Coate is professor of government and international studies at the University of South Carolina.

Kelly-Kate Pease is associate professor and director of International Relations at Webster University in St. Louis. She is author of International Organizations: Perspectives on Governance in the 21st Century (2002) and has published several articles and book chapters on human rights, humanitarian intervention, humanitarian assistance, and foreign policy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Battleship on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a valuable resource that describes in detail the way the United Nations works. This book describes the role of all of the alphabet soup committees. The book relates the level of funding that is a perpetual problem for the organization. The authors explain how the organization has made progress over the years and what the plan of action should be so that the UN will have more autonomy and influence in the future.

The main weakness of the book is that the structural problems and deficiencies of the organization are not adequately covered or explained. The authors relate that they believe strongly that the body should have more influence with world governments. The authors beleive that the best interests of the organization would be advanced by convincing world leaders and governments to agree to give up some national sovereignty and allow the organization to have more control in the major issues that face humanity.

The authors are especially critical of the role of the United States in curbing the power of the organization. The Reagan administration has earned special censure for ignoring the deliberations and declarations of the world body. The UN has struggled to gain legitimacy in the eyes of observers at times. The authors are quick to blame this on nationalist American interests and the lack of appropriate funding, but they fail to recognize the culpability of the organization when it has had notable failures and corruption scandals.

Overall, this is a valuable work. This book provides an accurate look into the mindset present in many members and administrators in the UN. It accurately relays how the organization operates and how the administrative apparatus of various alphabet soup bodies function. Whether you are a fan of the UN or a critic, this book is an extremely valuable resource that is worth reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
College-level courses strong in international peace-keeping and UN history will find the sixth updated edition of Thomas G. Weiss,'s THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHANGING WORLD POLITICS an exceptional pick. It features a new chapter on evolving security operations, updates discussions of the UN's actions around the world, and discusses the global economic and financial crisis to bring all details up to date. College-level courses in political science and UN history will find this essential.
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