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Revista de Sociologia e Política

On-line version ISSN 1678-9873


GAMA, Carlos Frederico  and  LOPES, Dawisson Belém. "Loves me, loves me not": discursive ambivalence in canonic evaluation of UN performance. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.33, pp. 157-173. ISSN 1678-9873.

In this essay, we question certain evaluations - which, we believe, are canonic in International Relations - of United Nations performance. This organization has, since its origins, been simultaneously considered both as "chronically inefficient" and as demonstrating "exemplary efficiency". In order to show this, we employ two types of "episteme": the first, manifesting itself in articles that have been published since the United Nations was founded in 1945, takes a systematic look at the supposed "crisis" of the entity; the second is related to the reiterated attribution of the Nobel Peace Price to the U.N. over the course of the last six decades, for its alleged contributions to promoting peace and international security. From our point of view, this bipolar evaluation of U.N. performance reproduces a pattern for analysis of international organizations that is common to the rest of the academic discipline of International Relations. The United Nations is praised and criticized from the vantage point of that which can be considered the institutional formula of modern politics por excellence:: the national sovereign State. In conclusion, we argue that to evaluate the United Nations of the year 2006 from the vantage point of 1945 is dangerously inappropriate. The very standard concept of State demands, today, a redefinition of terms - in order to absorb the historical and social changes that have occurred over time. The challenge, therefore, is to offer perspectives for a new theoretical framework for looking at the United Nations - which, ideally, would be freed from the side-effects produced by the approach we call "methodological Statism".

Keywords : United Nations Organization; International Relations; the modern State; Nobel Peace Prize; crisis of the United Nations.

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