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Global Politics – Global Governance

2. The United Nations and NATO

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In this module, we think about two key international governmental institutions: the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), focusing in particular on: (i) the main organs of the UN (including the Security Council, General Assembly, and Economic and Social Council); (ii) the key functions, strengths and weaknesses of the UN; (iii) the moderate success of the UN in peacekeeping; (iv) its relative weaknesses in peace-making; (v) the ways in which the bureaucracy of the UN – compounded by the ability of its permanent member states to veto resolutions – also limits its effectiveness; (vi) the power held by NATO as well as its potentially more significant problems of bias.


In this course, Professor Natasha Lindstaedt (University of Essex) explores some key areas of global governance. In the first module, we are introduced to the key concepts of Realism and Liberalism, detailing their different attitudes towards conflict in international relations. The second module takes an in-depth look at two key international institutions: the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In the third module, we explore some international financial institutions alongside their strengths and some criticisms. In the fourth module, we apply our discussion of global governance to a key issue today – climate change – before rounding off in the fifth module with a broad consideration of power. We think about soft power, sharp power, economic power and military power, relating what we have learned about Realism and Liberalism to the international system as it exists today.


Natasha Lindstaedt is a Professor of Government at the University of Essex. She has taught MA and undergraduate courses at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit (VU), California State University (Long Beach), and Ventura College. Her research interests include international development, authoritarian regimes, and 'Third World' politics, and in 2017 she released the work 'Global Politics and Violent Non-State Actors', which explores the emergence of violent non-state actors through a series of contemporary case studies and an interdisciplinary approach.

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APA style

Lindstaedt, N. (2021, November 09). Global Politics – Global Governance - The United Nations and NATO [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lindstaedt, Natasha. "Global Politics – Global Governance – The United Nations and NATO." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Nov 2021,

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