chapter  6
Power
WithRamesh Thakur
Pages 15

Power denotes the ability to enforce or compel obedience to the dictates of those issuing the commands. For the United Nations to function effectively as a law-enforcing collective security organization, states must accept several propositions regarding their own abilities to dispose of power. Force is a notoriously inefficient instrument for attaining goals when there is ambivalence about the goals to be pursued. The globalization of international society has adversely affected the ability of the great powers to discharge their once traditional functions as responsible managers of the world order. American membership of the UN in 1945 institutionalized the new US commitment to a great power role in international relations. It was generally believed that US abandonment of the League had contributed to the inexorable march to World War II; it was feared that American disloyalty to the UN would similarly doom the new effort at preserving world order and peace.