Caught Between Traditions: The Security Council in Philosophical Conundrum

In Part I of this article, I provide a discussion about the use of traditions of thought in international relations. Part II begins by briefly examining the fundamental purpose of the Security Council – the maintenance of international peace, and security. I then analyze the philosophical origins of the idea of maintaining international peace and security through an international organization to demonstrate how liberal thought on international relations came to incorporate this idea. In this analysis, I will demonstrate that liberal thought on the appropriateness of relying on international organizations to maintain peace and security is not unified and that three traditions within liberal thought compete for prominence. In Part III, I will apply each of the three strands to the question of what should be done with the Security Council as we approach the new millennium. I conclude that the Security Council’s potential in the future is limited by the lack of consensus in liberal thought about its role in international relations.