Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Liberal Studies


Douglas Allen

Second Committee Member

James Warhola

Third Committee Member

Hugh Curran


The previous two decades have brought to light many issues with the role of the United Nations in peacekeeping. The disasters in Rwanda, Kosovo, Somalia, and now the Sudan, give credence to the idea that something is a serious fundamental flaw in the United Nation's approach to making the world a more peaceful place. The use of violence, or the threat of violence, cannot be used to bring about lasting peace. Evidence of this fundamental flaw is seen throughout the UIV's history, but perhaps nowhere as glaring as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. That peace enforcement operation ran just as the framers of the UN Charter intended it to. lraq invaded Kuwait; the Security Council met; sanctions were imposed; a decision was made that an international coalition would have to force lraq from Kuwait. This goes hand in hand with the prescribed responses to threats to international peace and security as outlined in the Charter. Despite this seeming "success", Iraq is today immersed in war and violence. The UN has broadened its definition of what peace is, but they have not changed their peacekeeping tactics enough. As long as they rely on force to achieve peace, the inevitable result will be more violence. There are areas where the UN has tried to address the roots of conflict and expand its view of peacekeeping, for example, development. However, their approach to development is similarly flawed as it encourages development that will be beneficial to the developed world, not the developing countries. The UIV should be advocating sustainable development and not pushing a capitalist agenda. Only through the use of nonviolence can the UN hope to achieve its goal of peace. The reliance on coercion will only lead to resentment. If the UN continues to use violent means to attempt to achieve noble ends, they will send the message that violence is the final arbiter of justice. That lesson will lead to increased need for peacekeeping and .the circle will continue. Nonviolence can, and does, work. It has not been tried on a sufficient enough scale to fully judge its merits in the international peacekeeping arena. Violence rarely works and always leads to more violence. The cycle of violence can be traced throughout history. Given this, the UN must change its approach to peacekeeping to incorporate nonviolence as its dominant theme.