Collective Security - Essay Example

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It was to be an organization that would use peaceful negotiation to maintain international peace and security. Moreover, it would be an organization where all member states would be bound by the belief that all acts of "aggression and war are crimes against humanity" (Harney), and nations would therefore consider it their duty to desist from and prevent aggression. After any major conflict, prevention of future conflicts is always high on the agenda. To this end, the "favorite technique is to institute measures of co-operation and consultationwith a view to preventing war by moderating and restraining the free-for-all operation of the international anarchy" (Buzan, 163). Thus the setting up of the League of Nations, [and later the United Nations] was a paradigm shift from a policy of national defence to one of collective security. However, the League of Nations failed to achieve its goal of securing international peace and security, amply proven by the fact that the world was at war again within twenty years of its formation. Nevertheless, the failure of League of Nations cannot be called a failure of the idea of collective security. It was more a failure of political will amongst nations to look beyond their own short-term gains in order to make collective security a workable proposition.
According to Meg Harney, "While an excellent idea in theory, the League met with repeated problems simpl ...Show more


The League of Nations was set up in 1919 at the end of World War I. The Covenant of the League of Nations was incorporated in the Treaty of Versailles on the insistence of US President Woodrow Wilson who tabled the covenant at the Paris Peace Conference with the words "A living thing is born" (Harney)…
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