Print pagePDF page

Laura Zanotti, Governing Disorder: UN Peace Operations, International Security, and Democratization in the Post–Cold War Era (Penn State University Press, 2011)

Summary
The end of the Cold War created an opportunity for the United Nations to reconceptualize the rationale and extent of its peacebuilding efforts, and in the 1990s, democracy and good governance became legitimizing concepts for an expansion of UN activities. The United Nations sought not only to democratize disorderly states but also to take responsibility for protecting people around the world from a range of dangers, including poverty, disease, natural disasters, and gross violations of human rights. National sovereignty came to be considered less an entitlement enforced by international law than a privilege based on states’ satisfactory performance of their perceived obligations. In Governing Disorder, Laura Zanotti combines her firsthand experience of UN peacebuilding operations with the insights of Michel Foucault to examine the genealogy of post–Cold War discourses promoting international security. Zanotti also maps the changes in legitimizing principles for intervention, explores the specific techniques of governance deployed in UN operations, and identifies the forms of resistance these operations encounter from local populations and the (often unintended) political consequences they produce. Case studies of UN interventions in Haiti and Croatia allow her to highlight the dynamics at play in the interactions between local societies and international peacekeepers.

About the Author
Laura Zanotti is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.